• 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,...

Study of a Large-tailed Nightjar Carcass

in Morphology-Develop.  on Aug 28, 15 6 Comments »
Study of a Large-tailed Nightjar Carcass [pic. 1] “On 23rd Aug 15, a young friend named Caleb, stopped me and pointed towards the base of a palm tree as we were walking along Jalan Loyang Besar, towards Pasir Ris Carpark A (above). The pointed wing of a Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus) with a prominent white patch caught his attention. After calling the hotline of a local nature group that collects bird carcasses, I was advised to bury the bird as all their staff were very busy that Sunday afternoon... Read More

Common Moorhen – up close

Common Moorhen - up close “I was given an uncommon opportunity to get close by this adult Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus orientalis)… “…that was sunning and preening in the early part of the morning. “I suspect my numerous visits to the Reed Warblers has made this bird familiar with me. “I took the opportunity to focus on plumage and bare parts for documentation.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 13th May 2014 Location: Tambun... Read More

Male Eastern Stonechat in breeding plumage

Male Eastern Stonechat in breeding plumage “The migratory Eastern Stonechats (Saxicola maurus) in the city are near full male breeding plumage (above). Spent some time with one of them today and sharing some observations: 1. Note the well developed orange-rufous breast (above). 2. The video above shows the classical behaviour of the bird perched on a short grass stem twig and the second half shows a feeding episode on the ground. The bird will often descend to the ground to feed. 3. Generally quiet but heard... Read More

Male Eastern Stonechat assuming breeding plumage

in Morphology-Develop.  on Jul 30, 15 1 Comment »
Male Eastern Stonechat assuming breeding plumage “The Eastern Stonechat (Saxicola maurus) is a common migrant in the north but in Peninsula Malaysia is an ‘uncommon and localised’ migrant. I am indebted to Jing-Yi Tou, a bird watching colleague, who spotted this bird, just before Christmas 2013, in an open area with tall grass in the city. “This location was a ‘happy hunting ground’ for both of us to watch birds that use the open grassland habitat but is now being extensively developed. I had made 4-5 trips... Read More

Encounter with a one-eyed Buffy Fish-owl

Encounter with a one-eyed Buffy Fish-owl Alvin Seng’s image of the one-eyed Buffy Fish-owl (Ketupa ketupu) was photographed at Sungei Tampines in Pasir Ris Park on 2nd July 2015. The above image shows the functioning right eye with a wide yellow iris rim and a small black pupil. These are absent in the damaged left eye. The iris regulates the size of the pupil and thus the amount of light entering the eye. During the day when it is bright, the pupil is thus small (above). At night when it is dark, the pupil is... Read More

Black-bellied Malkoha – less often seen and photographed

Black-bellied Malkoha - less often seen and photographed “The Black-bellied Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus diardi diardi) (above, below) is said to be seen and photographed less often as it is more ”shy’ than the commonly seen Green-billed Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus tristis longicaudatus). These birds can, at a quick look, be mistaken for each other and their habitat overlap. “The key differentiating features are: 1. Tail length: The Black-bellied has a tail length about equal to the body while the Green-billed has a longer... Read More

Mutant Javan Myna

in Morphology-Develop.  on Apr 20, 15 3 Comments »
Mutant Javan Myna Bee Choo Strange came across this Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) recently at a bus stop opposite Four Seasons Hotel in Singapore. The myna had a disfigured bill and Bee Choo wondered how it survives and feed. Note: Deformed bills are not a rare phenomenon. We have earlier posted such bills in Javan Myna HERE, Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) HERE and Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) HERE. Birds with such a bill will definitely be at a disadvantage... Read More

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha – back view of a female

in Morphology-Develop.  on Feb 24, 15 2 Comments »
Chestnut-breasted Malkoha  - back view of a female “I was watching a pair of Chestnut-breasted Malkohas (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris singularis) foraging and trying to get flight images, as they glided from tree to tree. My best was a rear view of the female showing plumage in full sunlight.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 17th February 2015 Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia Habitat: A trail through primary jungle adjacent to a rushing... Read More

Pintail Snipe’s tongue and bill

in Morphology-Develop.  on Feb 16, 15 No Comments »
Pintail Snipe’s tongue and bill Chan Yoke Meng’s image of a Pintail Snipe (Gallinago stenura) with its bill apart (below) provides a rare opportunity to view two uncommon features – part of the bird’s hyoid apparatus and rhynchokinesis. According to field ornithologist Wang Luan Keng in an earlier post HERE: “Bird tongues are usually not muscular structures but operate by means of a bony extension that points backwards. This bony extension is referred to as the hyoid apparatus.” In the... Read More

Olive-backed Sunbird – extra metallic plumage

Olive-backed Sunbird – extra metallic plumage “A very friendly male Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis flammaxillaris) with the lovely chestnut-red band across the lower breast. It was in full sun which aided a clear observation of the metallic plumage. “What was curious is the extra metallic plumage just behind the eye. This was symmetrical on both sides (above). Not seen this before. Any opinions on this valued. “The bird seem to make sure I had my fill of images and gave many different postures showing... Read More