• 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,...

Red-whiskered Bulbul: 1. Nest building

Red-whiskered Bulbul: 1. Nest building For more than a few months a pair of Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) was seen in and around my garden (above). Their loud and melodious songs cannot help but attract attention to their presence. In March 2015 I began to notice the pair loitering around my Belimbing (Averrhoa belimbi) tree, sometimes hiding among the clusters of leaves at the ends of a pair of closely growing stems. On closer examination I noticed the beginning of a crude nest lodged between the... Read More

Glossy Swiftlet – nesting conflict

in Intraspecific, Nesting  on Apr 12, 15 No Comments »
Glossy Swiftlet – nesting conflict “We noticed a small flock (10-12) of nesting Glossy Swiftlets (Collocalia esculenta cyanoptila) starting to build nests on the under surface of the balconies of an apartment building. Usually these swiftlets choose darker environments like car parks or large drainage tunnels, etc, so this was a bit unusual. “However the main observation was the conflict between the nesting birds. One pair had managed to find a good nesting site and was clinging on to that corner surface... Read More

Mountain Tailorbird nesting

in Nesting  on Apr 09, 15 No Comments »
Mountain Tailorbird nesting “Occasionally a visit to the highlands is a throwback to a time 30-40 years ago when the warbler and babblers and nesting birds were abundant. Today I had to decide which bird to spend time with, so plentiful was the opportunity. “Tailorbirds are one of my favourites and I saw this adult in breeding plumage collecting nesting material. Unlike others in the family, this one does not stitch nests. The nest was located on a slope, deeper in the jungle and not... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 6. Nesting of Black-shouldered Kites

in Nesting, Raptors  on Mar 25, 15 No Comments »
Pellets from Tuas: 6. Nesting of Black-shouldered Kites The nest of the Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) is loosely constructed of twigs placed around the forks of branches high up in the tree. The first chick was seen in the nest on 17th January 2015, the day observations started. Based on this and the reported incubation period of 30-33 days, the egg was most probably laid sometime in mid-December 2014. The second chick was seen the next day (above), the third three days later (below)… …and the fourth chick four... Read More

Chestnut-naped Forktail nesting: 3. Chicks and nest

in Nesting  on Mar 22, 15 1 Comment »
Chestnut-naped Forktail nesting: 3. Chicks and nest Part 1 and 2 of the Chestnut-naped Forktail (Enicurus ruficapillus) can be viewed HERE and HERE. “Second disclosure: 
I allowed myself one opportunity to photograph the nest when the chicks were inside on the 11th October 2014. Although, as I mentioned, the nest was easily accessible by climbing down the slope of the stream, I choose to avoid doing this as I felt my proximity would alarm the parents. I waded out into the stream from about 20 meters distance and stopped... Read More

Chestnut-naped Forktail nesting: 2. Prey

Chestnut-naped Forktail nesting: 2. Prey Part 1 of the post on the Chestnut-naped Forktails (Enicurus ruficapillus) can be viewed HERE. Observation on prey for nestlings: “The nesting pair often forage quite near to the nest once they are used to my presence. Prey is obtained on the ‘shore’ (sandy bits of the stream) as well as on the forest floor and bushes off the edge stream. A foraging Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) that foraged on rocks near the nest was not disturbed but another Chestnut-naped... Read More

Chestnut-naped Forktail nesting: 1. Introduction

in Nesting  on Mar 20, 15 No Comments »
Chestnut-naped Forktail nesting: 1. Introduction “I have held on to posting this to allow the young to fledge and move on. I had the privilege to observe a pair of Chestnut-naped Forktails (Enicurus ruficapillus) nesting. The nest was located 2.5-3km into the forest reserve, on the bank of a rushing stream alongside a jungle path. “As is my policy with nesting birds, I will start with a disclosure to be transparent and accountable about my disturbance to the nesting pair: “I visited the location on 6th, 11th, 14th,... Read More

Atypical nesting of the Zebra Dove

in Nesting, Pigeon-Dove  on Nov 01, 14 1 Comment »
Atypical nesting of the Zebra Dove “I have seen Zebra Doves (Geopelia striata) nest in odd sites but never before in limestone hill openings. “Note that these are images and observations from a distance with no closer access but there is no doubt about the nesting behaviour. “I spotted an adult flying into a small hole in a large limestone stalactite. The hole is located 40-50 meters up a limestone outcropping (above). I saw three visits by the adult bringing nesting material with another adult within... Read More

Asian Glossy Starling: 1. Claiming roof space

Asian Glossy Starling: 1. Claiming roof space The soft boards sealing the strip of roof projecting from my neighbour’s house fell off some months ago at two points. I expected either Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) or Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis) would claim these roof areas for nesting. But for weeks there was no sign of any of these birds entering the spaces. Then, in the afternoon of 11th June 2014 I happened to notice an adult Asian Glossy Starling flying right through that first gap. It... Read More

Oriental Pied Hornbill nesting

in Hornbills, Nesting  on Sep 11, 14 1 Comment »
Oriental Pied Hornbill nesting “I saw an adult Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) sitting patiently in a tree (above) and suspected nesting. I went round to the other side of the trunk and found a recently walled up nest – note the mud still on the tip of the female’s beak (below). “The nest was located in a huge old tree, 9-10 meters up (below). While in the location, some villages came up to me and we had a chat regarding the nesting pair. They say this is the... Read More