• 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,...

Flocks of Oriental Pratincole

in Miscellaneous  on Apr 13, 14 No Comments »
Flocks of Oriental Pratincole Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS encountered a flock of Oriental Pratincole (Glareola maldivarum) at his last visit to the Malim Nawar Wetlands in Perak, Malaysia on an earlier visit from quite a distance. Initially he mistook the birds for terns. The habitat consists of extensive ex-tin mining areas made up of many pond and lakes, wetlands and fish farming areas. “Today (1st September 2013) he saw them closer and the flock size has grown,” noted Amar. “I saw flocks a... Read More

White-winged Tern – odd behaviour

in Miscellaneous  on Apr 01, 14 No Comments »
White-winged Tern - odd behaviour “Saw this odd behaviour of one White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) that lay down on a partially dried up lake bed. Remained immobile for about a minute and then saw me and stood up. It is not injured. I wonder if the extremely hot weather and prolonged dry spell has made this tern try and cool off.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 28th February 2014 Location: Malim Nawar Wetlands, Perak, Malaysia Habitat: Extensive ex-tin mining area with... Read More


GREY HERONS - PANTING and PREENING “On a scorching Saturday afternoon of 15th March 2014, I was monitoring a small colony of Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea) at a river mouth in Singapore (above). “As the sun was bearing down on them, I wondered how they were coping with the oppressive heat. Despite the occasional sea breeze, a number of herons were observed to be actively panting (gular fluttering) with their beaks parted (above). “A caring and panting parent heron even faced its back to the sun to... Read More

Red Junglefowl eggs

in Miscellaneous  on Jan 26, 14 No Comments »
Red Junglefowl eggs “Discovered a clutch of 5 Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) eggs 2 days ago following a tip off from my estate manager (below left). “I don’t have the habit of actively looking out for nests as I don’t wish to disturb the birds. But since he suspected that the nests had been abandoned with 2 broken eggs, I decided to look for them. They were hidden in a patch of Sphagneticola trilobata planted as ground cover, located at one corner of the parking lots (above... Read More

© MY ODYSSEY WITH BLUE-WINGED PITTAS PART 14: A Chronological Summary & Closure

in Miscellaneous  on Dec 01, 13 No Comments »
© MY ODYSSEY WITH BLUE-WINGED PITTAS  PART 14: A Chronological Summary & Closure “One day of romance and another full day of nest reconstruction was all time needed for resilient Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis) pair – Scarlet and P10, to retry a second clutch, before their breeding window period came to close. “5th June came, no further nesting materials were brought into the forest. Instead, the next three consecutive days saw single pitta bird foraging to refuel itself (left). “8th June – Calls heard in foraging... Read More

© MY ODYSSEY WITH BLUE-WINGED PITTAS PART 10: Predators in the Wild vs. Homo sapiens

in Miscellaneous  on Nov 10, 13 3 Comments »
© MY ODYSSEY WITH BLUE-WINGED PITTAS PART 10: Predators in the Wild vs. Homo sapiens “Being ground dwellers and building their nests mainly on low grounds, parenting Blue-winged Pittas (Pitta moluccensis) face a greater challenge in fledging their chicks on a per clutch basis. “Inexperienced breeders who nest build in flood prone areas could find their creations collapse and inundate in unexpected heavy rainfalls- thus losing their precious brood (left). “The greatest direct concern of faunal predation is caused by predators such as stray... Read More


in Miscellaneous  on Oct 06, 13 5 Comments »
OLD SCOUT REVEALS SCANDALOUS SECRETS “Dr Wee Yeow Chin, who was a Scout in Raffles Institution during the 1950s, revealed some shocking secrets in a talk given to members of the Raffles Chapter of the Scouts’ Guild and their guests on September 21. “He told tales of infidelity, marriages of convenience, tantrum-throwing, gold-digging wives and multiple sex partners – among birds. Dr. Wee beginning his lecture with a favourite ornithologist’s quote LINK. “Though qualified as a botanist,... Read More

Chan Yoke Meng: Chasing birds… and collecting stamps…

in Miscellaneous  on Oct 01, 13 2 Comments »
Chan Yoke Meng: Chasing birds... and collecting stamps… Melinda and Chan Yoke Meng came onto the BESG scene in early 2006 when the website was about a year old. Melinda was trying hard to locate the site where a female Great Hornbill (Buceros bicronis) was courting a female Rhinoceros Hornbill (B. rhinoceros) LINK. Nobody in the know would share with her the location until she somehow made contact with me. We were naïve then, oblivious of the fact that birdwatchers are seldom free with sighting locations, except maybe with... Read More

Crow culling in Singapore

in Miscellaneous  on Sep 03, 13 1 Comment »
Crow culling in Singapore On 17th August 2013 Jeremiah Loei was at the Ang Mo Kio Hawker Centre having breakfast with his wife and children when he heard loud rifle firing. It was the local Crow Culling Team in action (below). Can the success of our crow culling programme contribute to the increase in the population of the Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea)? see HERE. Talking to the sharp shooter, he was informed that “…one rifle bullet contains about 300 sand pellets inside.” The... Read More

Mynas having a cool drink

in Miscellaneous  on Sep 01, 13 1 Comment »
Mynas having a cool drink “This picture, taken today [19th August 2013] at Velocity junction. Less than 100 m from where I first saw these birds [mynas] taking a sip from air con drip off,” wrote Jeremy Lee. “These two birds both took a quick sip before going about their business at the side of the road.” Jeremy’s earlier post of these mynas doing the same thing can be viewed HERE. Sunbirds similarly take water droplets from air conditioning drainage pipe... Read More