• 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,...

Grey-headed Fish-eagle vs White-bellied Sea-eagle

in Interspecific, Raptors  on Jun 19, 15 1 Comment »
Grey-headed Fish-eagle vs White-bellied Sea-eagle “Watched an altercation between a nesting Grey-headed Fish-eagle (Icthyophaga ichthyaetus) and a ‘trespassing’ White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster). “The conflict lasted 8 minutes with both birds ‘dive booming’ each other (predominantly the Grey-headed Fish-eagle) and mid-air physical interactions. The series of images attempt to show the ‘action’ with a composite below. “The Grey-headed Fish-eagle would stretch out the feet/claws to impact... Read More

Brahminy Kite feeding on fish

Brahminy Kite feeding on fish “An adult Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) feeding on a fish from the nearby fish farms. “The bird was intermittently disturbed by another Brahminy Kite (not in image or video), so looked up periodically. “One of my friends says the fish is a Tinfoil Barb (Barbonymus schwanenfeldii). Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 5th April 2015 Location: Tambun Interior, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia Habitat: Secondary growth near limestone hills, vegetable and fish... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 10. Black-shouldered Kite’s prey and bone fragments in the pellets

Pellets from Tuas: 10. Black-shouldered Kite’s prey and bone fragments in the pellets On 12th February 2015, Melinda Chan collected two pellets from Tuas, around the area where the pair of Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) was nesting LINK. One pellet was larger than the other: 55x30x25mm (above) as compared to 21x20x15mm (below). The larger was oval and very tightly packed in hairs. The smaller was disk-shaped, 21x20x15mm, also covered with hairs bur not as tightly packed. The larger pellet was somewhat smaller than an earlier one that contained a... Read More

Black-shouldered Kite regurgitation or vomiting?

in Miscellaneous, Raptors  on May 14, 15 No Comments »
Black-shouldered Kite regurgitation or vomiting? On 21st April 2015, Melinda Chan sent in two images of a juvenile Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) photographed by Chan Yoke Meng (above, below). The kite was on a high perch spewing a sticky substance. There were two other juvenile kites on the same tree. They had a flock of Red-breasted Parakeets (Psittacula alexandri) as well as a single Hahn’s Macaw for company. Was the kite regurgitating or vomiting? According to the literature, regurgitation is part of... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 9. Black-shouldered Kite removing entrails from mice

Pellets from Tuas: 9. Black-shouldered Kite removing entrails from mice The series of images in this post show the adult Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) removing the entrails from decapitated mice and dumping the parts on to the ground. This was done before they started eating the mice or even flying them off to the nest to feed the chicks. We never saw any adults eating the entrails or even the head. The evidence from the many pellets found scattered on the ground below and around the nesting tree showed no intact skull except... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 8. Black-shouldered Kite feeding chicks

Pellets from Tuas: 8. Black-shouldered Kite feeding chicks The ground below the nest of the Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) is often littered with carcases of mice and numerous pellets. The image above shows a headless mice found below the nest. An intact mouse was also found below the nest (below) We believe they fell from the nest when brought in by an adult. We had observed that within minutes on the ground the dead mice would be covered with ants. Thus returning it to the nest would introduce ants and pathogens.... Read More

Black-shouldered Kite eats a Javan Myna

Black-shouldered Kite eats a Javan Myna Field ornithologist Wang Luan Keng came across a the Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) tearing a dead Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) apart on a high perch recently, as shown in the video clip above. On the ground below were remnants of earlier meals – feathers and parched bones of a Javan Myna (above) as well as a few pellets (below). The pellets were collected and the bone fragments extracted (below: numbers correspond to those of pellets; scale in mm).... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 7. Black-shouldered Kite hunting mice

Pellets from Tuas: 7. Black-shouldered Kite hunting mice Mice appear to be the major diet of the pair of Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) nesting in Tuas. The adult kites were regularly seen hunting mice from their favourite perch. From a high point a kite would patiently wait until a prey was spotted. It then dived down to disappear into the undergrowth for a short time. It would then appear, flying back to its original perch or to the nest. This was done in the early morning or at dusk. As with raptors, the prey was... 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

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