• 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,...

Sunbird, Bee And the Drumstick Tree

Sunbird, Bee And the Drumstick Tree “There is a Drumstick tree (Moringa oleifera) in my condo. Other than a hanging-parrot which was suspected to be a Blue-crowned Hanging-parrot (Loriculus galgulus) seen about two years ago, I have not noticed any other bird being attracted to this tree. “About a month ago, however, I observed that the tree was in full bloom, with wilted flowers scattered all over the ground below the tree. While spending time to examine the intricate structure of the immature seedpods, I... Read More

Yellow-vented Bulbul caught in a spider’s web

in Fauna, Sunbirds  on Feb 13, 14 No Comments »
Yellow-vented Bulbul caught in a spider's web “I had an unusual experience this morning, it already being a usual bird day. I was watching a large number of birds in a mixed foraging party when my attention was directed to an adult Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier). I often try to observe Yellow-vented Bulbuls that live in secondary forest as they behave somewhat differently from the urban dwelling ones. “This bulbul was feeding but looked distressed. “Looking up I saw the partner caught in a large... Read More

Brown-throated Sunbird uses mandibles and foot to get at flower nectar of Costus woodsonii

in Feeding-plants, Sunbirds  on Feb 08, 14 No Comments »
Brown-throated Sunbird uses mandibles and foot to get at flower nectar of Costus woodsonii Our first post of a Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) taking nectar from the flower of Costus woodsonii (Scarlet Spiral Flag) – wrongly identified as Costus spicatus (Indian Head Ginger) – is illustrated with a single image LINK. There is a hint that the bird may have used its mandibles to pry open the flower. Johnny Wee subsequently provided more images of nectar harvesting by the same species of sunbird LINK. The images clearly show that the bird uses... Read More

Brown-throated Sunbird dealing with Costus spicatus flower

in Feeding-plants, Sunbirds  on Jan 27, 14 No Comments »
Brown-throated Sunbird dealing with Costus spicatus flower An earlier post showed what appeared to be a Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) manipulating a flower of the Indian Head Ginger (Costus spicatus) to get at its nectar LINK. Johnny Wee has now provided a series of images of another Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) manipulating a flower of the Indian Head Ginger photographed at Singapore’s Garden by the Bay in mid-January 2014. These images provide a clearer picture of what actually happened when... Read More

Brown-throated Sunbird and Costus spicatus flowers

in Feeding-plants, Sunbirds  on Jan 21, 14 2 Comments »
Brown-throated Sunbird and Costus spicatus flowers The image above by Chan Yoke Meng and Melinda Chan shows a Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) apparently trying to pry open a flower of the Indian Head Ginger (Costus spicatus) to get at the nectar. Nectar-feeding sunbirds birds are attracted to these flowers, as seen HERE and... Read More

Olive-backed Sunbird – spider prey

Olive-backed Sunbird – spider prey “Spotted a male Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis ornate) hovering at a spider’s nest (partly hidden) (above). “Came out with a tasty bite, possible the spider itself (or stole an insect from the web) (below). “Note the beautiful yellow-orange pectoral tuft usually concealed. See also HERE” [An earlier post on the Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja siparaja) feeding at a spider’s web can be seen HERE and an Olive-backed Sunbird taking a spider... Read More

Brown-throated Sunbird sipping nectar

Brown-throated Sunbird sipping nectar “According to Wikipedia: ‘Bauhinia acuminata is a species of flowering shrub native to tropical southeastern Asia. Common names include Dwarf White Bauhinia, White Orchid-tree and Snowy Orchid-tree… It grows two to three meters tall…’ “There is one growing in my condo. Its flowers are fragrant, though I have yet to smell it possibly because of the ever-present strong wind. From my observations the flower only lasts a day. So far, I have witnessed... Read More

Olive-backed Sunbird panting

“This Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis) started her nest construction in mid-May 2013. She had laboured on and increased the urgency of completing the nest during the period the haze hit Singapore in June 2013. The above clip was filmed on 23rd June 2013 at Serangoon Gardens. On that day, the PSI (Pollution Standard Index) reading was particularly high (170 – 190) and we noticed her panting and flicking her tongue. “We found an egg in the... Read More

Crimson Sunbird’s contact call and nectar feed

Crimson Sunbird's contact call and nectar feed Lena Chow‘s video clip below shows a Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) responding to another, which was calling on a nearby tree (you can hear the other call briefly at the start of the video). So this is probably a contact call? The images above shows the sunbird moments before the video, sipping from a Powderpuff Plant (Calliandra emarginata) sipping nectar from the... Read More

Sunbirds love Saraca flowers

Sunbirds love Saraca flowers “Was at one of several flowering Saraca (Saraca sp.) trees at various parts of the island this week. It was a hive of activity, with various sunbird species (Olive-backed, Purple-throated, Crimson) twittering, Scarlet-backed Flowerpeckers clicking, Carpenter Bees buzzing away with other bees and wasps, and other small insects. With insect prey abundant at the tree, dragonflies were also present – Yellow-barred Flutterers (Rhyothemis Phyllis) (above), Common... Read More