• 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,...

Juvenile Collared Kingfishers

Juvenile Collared Kingfishers “There was a nesting of the Collared Kingfisher (Actenoides concretus) at Pasir Ris Park where many photographers had their shots in April and May 2014 (above). “I did not monitor this nest but was pleasantly surprised on 28th June to see 4 juveniles perching in the same tree (above: showing a parent with 2 juveniles). So, there were 4 in this brood. The parents were not around. The next day, the parents (below) were with one of the juveniles. I did not manage to see... Read More

The elusive Greater Painted-snipe

in Morphology-Develop.  on Jun 25, 14 1 Comment »
The elusive Greater Painted-snipe “Like most migratory snipe, these resident Greater Painted-snipe (Rostratula benghalensis) rely on camouflage and stillness to avoid detection (above, below). “But once spotted they can be approached quite close. “There were three pairs at this location, foraging in shallow waters or muddy fields. [Images above and below show female in flight.] Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 29th April 2014 Location: Tambun Interior, Perak, Malaysia Habitat: Fish... Read More

Black Bittern’s neck fully stretched

Black Bittern's neck fully stretched “Further to the video of the Von Schrenck’s Bittern (Ixobrychus eurhythmus) LINK displaying the extension of the ‘telescopic’ neck, I had the opportunity to witness the full extension of the neck of the Black Bittern (Ixobrychus flavicollis) at Pulau Ubin (below). “In my previous encounter with the Black Bittern, it showed other interesting behaviour, but kept the neck extension at bay while searching for quarry LINK. Lena Chow Singapore 3rd May... Read More

Mating Zebra Doves and distinguishing the sexes

Mating Zebra Doves and distinguishing the sexes A pair of mating Zebra Doves (Geopelia striata) was photographed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS on 22nd February 2013 in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. The images, especially that of the pair in the act of copulation, allow for the sexes to be distinguished (above). The sexes are very similar except that the centre of the female’s breast is narrower, the barring extending further onto the breast (Gibbs et al., 2001). In the images above and below, the male is on the... Read More

Von Schrenck’s Bittern

Von Schrenck's Bittern “The Von Schrenck’s Bittern (Ixobrychus eurhythmus) is a rare migrant which is generally hard to spot as it is a shy and small bittern which typically lurks behind vegetation near a stream. “It was loud screeching that betrayed the presence of this female Von Schrenck’s Bittern, as she was chasing off a female Cinnamon Bittern (I. cinnamomeus) in her patch of the mangroves, where I had observed her before behind dense vegetation. I could not get a clear... Read More

Hodgson’s Frogmouth – appearance and parenting

Hodgson's Frogmouth - appearance and parenting Samson Tan’s images of the Hodgson’s Frogmouth (Batrachostomus hodgsoni) were photographed at the Doi Pak Hom Pok National Park in Thailand in 2014. He encountered six birds among which was a nesting pair LINK 1 and LINK 2. These are secretive, nocturnal birds with brownish grey plumage that provides excellent camouflage (above). One thing that is prominent in the frogmouth is the abundance of long slender bristles and semibristles on the front of the face and around... Read More

Need to document Rhynchokinesis in long-billed shorebirds

in Morphology-Develop.  on Apr 25, 14 No Comments »
Need to document Rhynchokinesis in long-billed shorebirds Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS’s earlier post on the Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) with a video clip showing the bird preening an feeding in shallow water HERE attracted the attention or another birder who pointed out to him the phenomenon of rhynchokinesis. This in turn led Amar posting another account, illustrated with images of the phenomenon HERE. For the sake of readers unfamiliar with the word, rhynchokinesis is the ability to open the tip of a long bill, so as to... Read More

White-tailed Robin – an enigma

in Morphology-Develop.  on Apr 20, 14 No Comments »
White-tailed Robin – an enigma “This White-tailed Robin (Myiomela leucura leucura) is one of my favourites but an enigma. Most times extremely shy but occasionally I get opportunities to watch at very close range. “On this occasional my wife had walked in a different direction and the bird approached me at close range. “The bird is often in the shade and shows much ‘variation’ in colour depending in what light you see it. Here seen up close in reasonable lighting (top, above), the bright... Read More


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