• Water(hen) in the (bird) brain

    Water(hen) in the (bird) brain

    “Our good web-master once posted an article of mine on this website about attracting kingfishers to urban gardens LINK. “As a follow-up to that, I decided to do this...

  • The Birds of Singapore – an online book

    The Birds of Singapore – an online book

    In May 1943, GC Madoc published “An Introduction to Malayan Birds.” He wrote his manuscript in Singapore’s Changi Prison where he was interned when the country fell into the...

  • Videocam: A powerful tool for studying birds

    Videocam: A powerful tool for studying birds

    1. Collecting birds: In the 19th century the equipment needed to study birds was the gun. Another skill necessary was a good stuffing technique in order to preserve the specimens....

  • Documenting bird calls and songs

    Documenting bird calls and songs

    Many local birdwatchers are able to recognise the birds behind the songs. However, interest in most cases ends there except for a few who make basic recordings. Erik Mobrand...

  • Should attempts be made to tame wild birds?

    Should attempts be made to tame wild birds?

    The first part of the series by aviculturist Lee Chiu San deals with whether birds can be tamed and whether they will remain tamed. The second part looks at whether it is...

  • Postings your observations and images

    Postings your observations and images

    Why should you post your observations and images? Southeast Asian birds are poorly studied in terms of behaviour and ecology. By posting your observations (and this include...

  • Nature Society: The struggle for Singapore’s nature areas

    Nature Society: The struggle for Singapore’s nature areas

    The above paper has just been published. Nature in Singapore is a peer-reviewed, online journal that publishes articles on the flora and fauna (e.g., biology, botany, zoology,...

Birding in Taiwan: 9. Taiwan Hwamei

Birding in Taiwan: 9. Taiwan Hwamei “An endemic Laughingthrush that is a “secretive resident of scrub, tall grass and forest edge” (Brazil 2009), the Taiwan Hwamei (Garrulax taewanus) is usually found below an altitude of 300 meters but small numbers can extend to an altitude of 1,000 meters ASL (Avifauna of Taiwan, 2nd edition). “This species is classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN red list. It was common in the past but lowland habitat damage and pet bird trade as a singing bird dwindled... Read More

White-breasted Woodswallow in East Malaysia

in Miscellaneous  on Jan 25, 15 No Comments »
White-breasted Woodswallow in East Malaysia “White-breasted Woodswallows (Artamus leucorynchus leucorynchus) are common in East Malaysia (Borneo) but uncommon in West Malaysia. “They are often met soaring or hawking high up on tall trees. “As this was a flat, extensive padi field area with limited perches, this bird was using a sign board very low down to forage from. “It returned quite a number of times to the same perch, very much like some flycatchers, allowing me some closer images.” Dato’ Dr... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 8. Taiwan Barwing

in Miscellaneous  on Jan 22, 15 No Comments »
Birding in Taiwan: 8. Taiwan Barwing “This lovely medium sized babbler, Taiwan Barwing (Actinodura morrisoniana), is found at the higher mountain altitudes 1,700 to 2,800 meters ASL (Avifauna of Taiwan, 2nd edition). “There are some concerns with numbers and it may be vulnerable, but the recovery of the habitat argues well for the species. “Often in a small flock as part of a mix foraging party. “We saw it with White-whiskered Laughingthrushs (Garrulax morrisonianus) and Flamecrests (Regulus... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 7. Swinhoe’s Pheasant

in Miscellaneous  on Jan 19, 15 No Comments »
Birding in Taiwan: 7. Swinhoe's Pheasant “The other endemic pheasant in Taiwan is the Swinhoe’s Pheasant (Lophura swinhoii). It generally prefers lower elevations to the Mikado Pheasant and the male is more often seen with a larger harem. We saw 7-8 females (below) with one male (above). “The large red face wattle is a prominent feature and with the white nuchal crest strikes a dramatic image (below). “The female also has a red eye patch with equally impressive plumage... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 6. Taiwan Whistling-thrush

in Miscellaneous  on Jan 16, 15 No Comments »
Birding in Taiwan: 6. Taiwan Whistling-thrush “The Taiwan Whistling-thrush (Myophonus insularis) is another delightful and common endemic. We saw it at three different locations and it has a number of habitats. These include the forest streams and gullies of low and middle altitude mountain forests where it can be seen in dark conditions, as these images posted show (taken though mist). As well as, close to human habitation where it will nest on buildings. We also saw it at close range in the Shihmen Reservoir,... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 5. Steere’s Liocichla

in Miscellaneous  on Jan 13, 15 No Comments »
Birding in Taiwan: 5. Steere's Liocichla “Another endemic babbler, the Steere’s Liocichla (Liocichla steerii) tends to keep to the undergrowth but will come out to the road; not shy. Usually in small parties of 3-5 birds. Found at altitudes of 1,000-2,500 meters ASL (Avifauna of Taiwan, 2nd edition) but will come lower in winter. “A brightly coloured bird, but required good light to appreciate all the features. The striking feature is the yellow-orange patch in front of the eyes (loral streak) that... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 5. The Emperor of Dasyueshan, Mikado Pheasant

in Miscellaneous  on Jan 10, 15 No Comments »
Birding in Taiwan: 5. The Emperor of Dasyueshan, Mikado Pheasant “There are two endemic pheasants in Taiwan, the Mikado Pheasant (Syrmaticus Mikado) (above) and the Swinhoe’s Pheasant (Lophura swinhoii). “Both serve as icons for bird splendour and bird watching in the country. The Mikado Pheasant is displayed on the 1000 Taiwan dollar currency note (above). Both pheasants are relatively easy to see in the Dasyueshan National Forest if you are willing to be patient. “The Mikado Pheasant is also known as an Emperor... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 4. Spotted Nutcracker

Birding in Taiwan: 4. Spotted Nutcracker “The Spotted Nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes owstoni) is not as common a bird but very conspicuous at higher altitudes. Was snowing when we saw it at ~ 2500 meters ASL. Will perch high on coniferous tree, looking like a large crow (above). “Said to be ‘silent outside breeding season, but quite vocal from late winter onwards …’ (Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive), but we found it quite vocal in late December. I did not hear the whistles or mimicry... Read More

FREE-LIVING WILD BIRDS BREEDING IN YOUR HOME

FREE-LIVING WILD BIRDS BREEDING IN YOUR HOME “With reference to the comment by Barkha on 26th December that he hopes Spotted Doves (Streptopelia chinensis) will again nest on his balcony LINK, my opinion is that if you want birds to stay around your premises and perhaps raise a family, you should feed them. “Most birds are territorial, but when food is plentiful, many bird territories are actually quite small, perhaps no larger than a suburban garden. “Therefore, to ensure a dense population of birds... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 3. Collared Bush-robin

in Miscellaneous  on Jan 04, 15 No Comments »
Birding in Taiwan: 3. Collared Bush-robin “We all have birds that become our ’favourites’, and I have many, but I am partial to robins and thrushes. I was looking forwards to meet this wonderful bush-robin and had a number of opportunities over three days at the Dasyueshan National Forest. It is also known as the Johnstone’s Robin, the Taiwan Bush-robin (Tarsiger johnstoniae), and due to common presence at ‘Mount Ali’, the Alishan Robin. The Avifauna of Taiwan, 2nd edition states that the “habitat... Read More