• 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,...

Delightfully fooled by Common Tailorbirds: 1. Male, sham nesting

in Nesting  on Aug 05, 15 No Comments »
Delightfully fooled by Common Tailorbirds: 1. Male, sham nesting “Our garden is rather ‘wild’ (overgrown) and often host a number of nesting birds. We spotted an adult male Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius maculicollis) building a nest outside our kitchen window (tinted glass). The bird was using a ficus bush that had been ‘planted’ by one of the garden birds. “There were however a number of atypical features: 1. It was only the male building the nest. Wells 2007 states ‘… only the female stitches and... Read More

Nesting bulbul: 5. An empty nest

Nesting bulbul: 5. An empty nest The Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) chick in the nest just in front of my bedroom window LINK was 12 days old on 15th June 2015 and near fledging time. On that morning the two adults were making loud calls in the garden. So I casually recorded them on video from the garden feeding the lone chick in the nest. This was just to check out the best angle, now that the chick was about to fledge. Previously I was documenting the feeding from within my bedroom. As I was... Read More

Nesting bulbul: 3. Adult feeding 5 days old chick

Nesting bulbul: 3. Adult feeding 5 days old chick The Yellow-vented Bulbul’s (Pycnonotus goiavier) was 5 days old on 8th June 2015. The feeding behavior of the adults was video recorded from 1410-1930 hours from the bedroom. The clips were subsequently analysed to determine the regularity of the visits and the length of time spent inside the nest by each adult on their visits. As with the 2 days old chick LINK, the adults arrived by two routes. Flying from the garden towards the nesting tree, it would make a sudden... Read More

Black Magpie – calls an unusual behaviour

in Nesting, Vocalisation  on Jul 27, 15 2 Comments »
Black Magpie – calls an unusual behaviour “Came across a pair of Black Magpie (Platysmurus leucopterus leucopterus) that was involved in nesting activities. I have begun to learn the locations and behaviour of some of the Black Magpie at this site. “A recording HERE and waveform/sonogram (above) of the ‘xylophone’ sequence calls “tok-tok teling-klingk-klingk” (see Wells 2007). “An unusual behaviour I saw of one adult tearing and pulling at a banana leaf (above). It did come away with a piece (above).... Read More

Nesting bulbul: 1. A nest outside my bedroom window

in Interspecific, Nesting  on Jul 13, 15 No Comments »
Nesting bulbul: 1. A nest outside my bedroom window There is an active Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) nest less than a metre from my bedroom window (above, arrow). The pair of bulbuls had been busy bringing materials for some time and patiently weaving them into a cup-shaped nest. They must have been active for weeks but we were totally unaware of this until 22nd May 2015 when my helper Estela Acierto spotted the nest. As she was walking past the potted Surinam Cherry (Eugenia uniflora) bush, a bulbul flew off.... Read More

Yellow-eared Spiderhunter: 2. Nesting

in Nesting, Nests  on Jul 09, 15 No Comments »
Yellow-eared Spiderhunter: 2. Nesting Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS’s earlier account on the Yellow-eared Spiderhunter (Arachnothera chrysogenys chrysogenys) nest building activities LINK attracted the attention of Dr David Wells who commented: “Most interesting, but you must eliminate the possibility of a spiderhunter poking about in some other bird’s construction looking for food or for material to take elsewhere. This structure is so unlike any Arachnothera nest that I know or have ever seen a description... Read More

Yellow-eared Spiderhunter: 1. Nest building

in Nesting, Nests  on Jul 08, 15 No Comments »
Yellow-eared Spiderhunter: 1. Nest building “I mentioned recently that I have been searching for spiderhunter nests for a long time. I was fortunate today to spot the nest building activity of the Yellow-eared Spiderhunters (Arachnothera chrysogenys chrysogenys). Available literatures suggest that the nest is similar to other spiderhunters, suspended underneath a large leaf. But in the region Wells 2007 states that there has been ‘no authentic description’. “Of 5 nests reported to be of this species 2... Read More

Pin-striped Tit-babbler: 1. Nesting

in Nesting  on Jun 28, 15 No Comments »
Pin-striped Tit-babbler: 1. Nesting “Was watching two adult Pin-striped Tit-babblers (Macronous gularis) and found it a bit odd that there were only two of them. Usually they are in a small social group. They were very accommodating and I was only a few meters away. Then, to my surprise, one of them made its way towards me, using the undergrowth, and then ‘disappeared’ into a clump of old grass and leaves just 2-3 meters from me. “The other adult tried to distract me at the same moment by flying... Read More

Sighting of Pin-tailed Whydah Juveniles

in Courtship-Mating, Nesting  on Jun 24, 15 3 Comments »
Sighting of Pin-tailed Whydah Juveniles “The courtship of the Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura) was first documented here in May 2013 LINK. “Two years later, in April/May 2015, many birders and photographers had congregated at the same location of Pulau Punggol Barat. This was after news spread that Pin-tailed Whydahs had been spotted and indulging in courtship displays (above). “The handsome male in breeding plumage with his very long black tail is already a sight to behold (above).... Read More

Adult Crimson-rumped Waxbill feeding fledglings

in Exotics, Nesting  on Jun 09, 15 1 Comment »
Adult Crimson-rumped Waxbill feeding fledglings Melinda and Chan Yoke Meng stumbled upon an adult Crimson-rumped Waxbill (Estrilda rhodopyga) feeding two fledglings sometime in 2014 (above). The juveniles, as with most juveniles, were not afraid of Melinda and Yoke Meng, allowing them to approach within a metre. These exotic waxbills were first reported in Punggol grassland in February 2011 LINK. Originating from East Africa, this common aviary species are obviously escapees. A few months later, Lena Chow reported... Read More