• 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,...

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

Birds bathing in the rain

Birds bathing in the rain Normally when it rains birds take shelter, usually under the foliage LINK. However, Singapore recently experienced a period of drought. So when there were light showers during this period, birds took advantage of the rain to have a bath. Recently field ornithologist Wang Luan Keng was pleasantly delighted when she encountered birds perching in the open to enjoy the rain. There were a few Blue-tailed Bee-eaters (Merops philippinus) crouching low on the exposed ends of... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 5. Black-shouldered Kites and House Crows

in Crows, Interspecific, Raptors  on Mar 18, 15 No Comments »
Pellets from Tuas: 5. Black-shouldered Kites and House Crows The pair of Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) nesting in Tuas was regularly harassed by the pair of House Crows (Corvus splendens) nesting a little down the road. The crows were obviously after the kites’ eggs and chicks. The presence of plentiful mice around the area kept the adults close to the nest. This meant that the adults could keep close watch on the marauding crows. To date, all four chicks were alive and well. One one occasion, an adult kite was... Read More

Crested Goshawk feasting on a Common Palm Civet

Crested Goshawk feasting on a Common Palm Civet The series of images by GaoJian LiuJia of a Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus) and its prey was photographed at Paisr Ris Park in early March 2015 at about noon. Discussions on the identity of the prey centered around civet cat or possible squirrel. Jeremiah Loei took the initiative to contact BESG. The images were then sent to civet researchers Xu Weiting and Fung Tze Kwan from the National University of Singapore’s Department of Biological Sciences. Weiting... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 4. Analysis of 14 pellets

Pellets from Tuas: 4. Analysis of 14 pellets Melinda Chan made extensive collections of pellets from a tree-lined avenue in Tuas in January 2015. All pellets were covered with short grey hairs, most probably those of mice. One of these was larger than the rest, from which a near-complete skeleton of a mouse was extracted LINK. This was the only pellet that had an intact skull, all others had bone fragments and numerous loose teeth but no skull. This large pellet was thought to have come from a Barn Owl (Tyto alba).... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 3. It’s a mouse!

in Owls, Pellets, Raptors  on Feb 27, 15 No Comments »
Pellets from Tuas: 3. It's a mouse! Of the pellets collected from an avenue at Tuas earlier by Melinda Chan LINK, one was prominently larger than the others (70x40mm) (above). It was also darker and more compact. Preparation of the pellet for harvesting of bone fragments followed the earlier protocol LINK. The number of bone fragments collected totaled 86. These included a skull, lower jaws, dislocated skull bones, ear capsules, shoulder blade, long bones, ribs, vertebrae, foot bones, toes, claws, etc.... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 2. Bone fragments in the pellets

Pellets from Tuas: 2. Bone fragments in the pellets On18th January 2015 four pellets of varying sizes (400-450 x 20-30 mm) and shapes (roundish to oval) were collected by Melinda Chan from Tuas (above) LINK. They were not fresh, probably a number of days old. Each was covered with hairs. They were relatively soft in texture and easily dismantled. One clearly showed the presence of bleached bone fragments on the surface. The pellets were soaked in water for a few hours. A disinfectant (dettol) was added as a precaution... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 1. The pellets

in Pellets, Raptors  on Feb 20, 15 2 Comments »
Pellets from Tuas: 1. The pellets The casting of pellet by certain groups of birds is not too well known– see HERE for more information. After swallowing their prey, these birds regurgitate the indigestible parts that were compacted in the gizzard in a form of pellets. These pellets collect on the ground below the trees where the birds normally perch. Ornithologists collect and study pellets to get information of what the birds had been eating. Of late, Melinda Chan had been collecting these pellets... Read More

Juvenile Rufous-bellied Eagle mobbed

in Interspecific, Raptors  on Oct 05, 14 No Comments »
Juvenile Rufous-bellied Eagle mobbed “I have occasional seen mynas group together and the flock chases off a raptor. Seen this happen with a White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), a Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) in my neighbourhood and other raptors. Today saw 20-25 Jungle Mynas (Acridotheres fuscus) (below) mobbed a juvenile Rufous-bellied Eagle (Hieraaetus kienerii) for quite some distance (above and bottom). “I am uncertain if this is the local Hieraaetus kienerii formosus or a... Read More

Encounter with Rusty-breasted Cuckoo and Hodgson’s Hawk Cuckoo

in Raptors, Species  on Aug 15, 14 No Comments »
Encounter with Rusty-breasted Cuckoo and Hodgson’s Hawk Cuckoo On 2nd February 2014, Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS was out birding with bird watching colleague and friend Connie Khoo around the limestone hills at the fringe of Ipoh in Perak, Malaysia. Connie alerted Amar to the presence of a Rusty-breasted Cuckoo (Cacomantis sepulcralis sepulcralis) that was sitting silently in a tangled part of a tree. Once spotted, the cuckoo was not at all afraid of the birdwatchers and allowed a decent approach (above). “The important... Read More