• 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,...

Brown-throated Sunbird – female collecting caterpillars for young

in Feeding chicks, Sunbirds  on Jun 23, 15 No Comments »
Brown-throated Sunbird – female collecting caterpillars for young “These images and observations are from our ‘magic’ kitchen window which allow good, close observations as the tinted glass and our wild garden combination brings many birds. When my wife calls me to the window, I have to grab my camera and rush over. “This time it was to see the ‘odd’ behaviour of an adult female Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis malacensis). This sunbird is well known for feeding on nectar with some records of frugivory (I have... Read More

Black-throated Sunbird – female eating flowers

Black-throated Sunbird – female eating flowers “A female Black-throated Sunbird (Aethopyga saturate waryi) collecting nesting material from cut grass and bushes (above, below). “A female was also seen eating flowers of the Poikilospermum suaveolens (Family: Urticaceae) to get the nectar. “See also HERE and HERE.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia Location: 1,600m ASL, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia Habitat: A public road along primary montane forest Date: 11th and 22nd April... Read More

Purple-naped Sunbird – nectar feeding

in Feeding-plants, Sunbirds  on May 30, 15 No Comments »
Purple-naped Sunbird – nectar feeding “Spotted Purple-naped Sunbirds (Hypogramma hypogrammicum nuchale) on two occasions, 1.5 km apart, feeding on the tiny flowers of this creeping epiphyte that is found on a few trees (above female, below male). “On the first instance a pair was visiting every single tiny pink-red flower for nectar. On the second I saw only a single female. The heads of the birds were stained with white sap due to this action (see top image). “This creeping epiphyte is the Dischidia... Read More

Olive-backed Sunbird – extra metallic plumage

Olive-backed Sunbird – extra metallic plumage “A very friendly male Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis flammaxillaris) with the lovely chestnut-red band across the lower breast. It was in full sun which aided a clear observation of the metallic plumage. “What was curious is the extra metallic plumage just behind the eye. This was symmetrical on both sides (above). Not seen this before. Any opinions on this valued. “The bird seem to make sure I had my fill of images and gave many different postures showing... Read More

Crimson Sunbird – juveniles assuming adult male plumage

Crimson Sunbird – juveniles assuming adult male plumage “A presumed family group of Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja trangensis-siparaja) was feeding on the nectar of these Hibiscus flowers. Two juveniles assuming adult male plumage, one adult male and an adult female. “I focused on the juveniles assuming adult male plumage. Much of the adult metallic plumage development in the throat and breast.Below is a limited image but shows that the metallic violet of the tail develops fairly early. Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh... Read More

Brown-throated Sunbird feeding Dillenia suffruticosa seeds

in Feeding-plants, Sunbirds  on Nov 04, 14 No Comments »
Brown-throated Sunbird  feeding Dillenia suffruticosa seeds “Spotted a female Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis malacensis) feeding on the fruit of the Simpoh Air (Dillenia suffruticosa). “Numerous feeding episodes were observed. This is a common shrub of disturbed open forest with large yellow flowers. Ivan Polunin, Plants and Flowers of Malaysia 1988, says ‘The red fruits open before dawn into several segments, exposing the red-fleshed seemingly tasteless seeds which are so attractive to birds that they are... Read More

Purple-throated Sunbird sipping Morinda elliptica flower nectar

in Feeding-plants, Sunbirds  on Sep 23, 14 No Comments »
Purple-throated Sunbird sipping Morinda elliptica flower nectar “Saw this Purple-throated Sunbird (Leptocoma sperata brasiliana) with a mate (no pictures, more shy) at close range but in full sun (have yet to take good pictures in glaring sunlight). “Extensive, close views of it feeding on the nectar of this small tree (top, above). I think it is the Morinda elliptica (Black Morinda or Mengkudu daun kecil) (below). “It did not pierce the base of the flower but obtained the nectar by direct insertion of beak into flower. “Very... Read More

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 2 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