• 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,...

DUSKY BROADBILL PREENING

DUSKY BROADBILL PREENING “The Dusky Broadbill (Corydon sumatranus) has previously been described as having an ‘ungainly appearance’ (Lekagul & Round, 1991: 220 – bird no. 428). Such an impression would most certainly have stemmed from the bird’s seemingly oversized beak. Indeed, this bird truly looks comical yet adorable, especially when admired face to face (above). “On the sunny afternoon of 22nd March 2014, we had the opportunity to observe a pair at Fraser’s Hill,... Read More

Head Plumes of the Javan Pond-heron

Head Plumes of the Javan Pond-heron “This season, at least two Javan Pond-herons (Ardeola speciosa) were spotted at the usual place at Lorong Halus. The Javan Pond-heron can only be positively identified when it assume its breeding plumage (below). Noted that these birds were assuming breeding plumage at different times with one seen assuming breeding plumage as early as end January. “At beginning of March, one of the birds had developed short white-coloured head plumes. These head plumes were not seen... Read More

THE WELL-DRESSED WATERHEN’S WARDROBE CHANGES

in Morphology-Develop.  on Apr 06, 14 No Comments »
THE WELL-DRESSED WATERHEN’S WARDROBE CHANGES “White-breasted Waterhens (Amaurornis phoenicurus) frequently help themselves to the aquatic snails in my water lily tubs. This common member of the rail family is supposed to breed almost all the year round. I have watched many broods grow from babyhood to adulthood in my garden. Quite a number of last-year’s babies still hang around to sneak quick snacks when the dominant pair are not watching. Following is a photographic record of the transition from black... Read More

Rhynchokinesis in the Common Snipe

Rhynchokinesis in the Common Snipe “I am grateful to Hans Peeters for pointing out a feature I saw but had not recognised – Rhynchokinesis. When I posted a video of a Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) HERE (see second half of the video for the behaviour), Hans commented: ‘Amar, you didn’t point out the best part – that in your wonderful little video one can clearly see how the TIP of the maxilla (upper mandible) can be raised or flexed upward, independent of the rest of the bill. A... Read More

Snipe for Identification

Snipe for Identification “We all know that field identification of snipe is not easy unless the tail is seen well in preening, especially for the Pintail and Swinhoe’s Snipes. The 3 migratory snipes to the Peninsula are the Pintail Snipe (Gallinago stenura), Swinhoe’s Snipe (Gallinago megala) and the Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago). There is a possibility that the Latham’s Snipe (Gallinago hardwickii) also transits the region. I recently posted some snipe on a local nature... Read More

Black-naped Oriole turns head 180 degrees

Black-naped Oriole turns head 180 degrees “It was a warm but breezy afternoon when I noticed a Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis) perching on the branch of an aging Coral Jasmine (Nyctanthes arbor-tristis) down below from my balcony. It was exploring the surroundings with ever vigilant eyes. It looked left and right and at one stage turned its head back 180 degrees to see what was happening behind. “It is thought that only owl can turn its head 180 degrees. Actually, most birds can turn their heads... Read More

Leucistic Javan Myna feeding on Xanthostemon chrysanthus flowers

Leucistic Javan Myna feeding on Xanthostemon chrysanthus flowers Xanthostemon chrysanthus or Yellow Penda, an introduction from Australia, is a popular roadside tree in Singapore. The tree flowers sporadically together, its yellow blossoms attracting a wide range of birds that feed on its flower nectar LINK. During its current flowering season (October-November), a lone leucistic Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) was seen regularly visiting these trees fronting my house to feed on the flower nectar, mostly around 1100 hours. Leucisn:... Read More

A closer look at a Whiskered Treeswift

in Morphology-Develop.  on Oct 30, 13 No Comments »
A closer look at a Whiskered Treeswift The Whiskered Treeswift (Hemiprocne comata) is a forest bird. It is usually seen high up in the forest canopy, among the tall emergent crownsas wee as along the forest edge. Occasionally it descends lower to secondary forests and matured orchards. It perches near the ends of bare twigs of tall trees looking out for small flying arthropods. KC Tsang managed to capture the above image at the Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei Darussalam in September 2013. Noted KC, “I... Read More

Red Junglefowl Roundup Part V. 5-toed Red Junglefowls

Red Junglefowl Roundup Part V. 5-toed Red Junglefowls  “My earlier observation of a female Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) in Sin Ming Ave attracted attention from a sharp-eyed youtube viewer who commented that the female had an extra toe than the normal ones LINK. “While the video didn’t have sufficient details to confirm whether it was a spur or an extra toe, I have recently gathered evidence that at least two of the junglefowl in this area indeed had an extra toe on each of their feet. “The images... Read More

© MY ODYSSEY WITH BLUE-WINGED PITTAS: PART 5. Plumage & Sexing

in Morphology-Develop.  on Oct 11, 13 5 Comments »
© MY ODYSSEY WITH BLUE-WINGED PITTAS:  PART 5. Plumage & Sexing “Blue-winged Pittas (Pitta moluccensis) are monotypic. They have no sub-species under their own category; thus making themselves known to be superspecies. “Their nearest cousins that wear same colour coat of plumages – black, buff to brown, green, blue, white and red – are the Mangrove Pitta (Pitta megarhyncha), Fairy Pitta (Pitta nympha) and Indian Pitta (Pitta brachyura). What set them apart are the subtle, varying degrees of colour and design patterns... Read More