• 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,...

Bats in my Porch: 15. Is the roosting site also a salt lick?

in Fauna, Videography  on Sep 19, 14 No Comments »
Bats in my Porch: 15. Is the roosting site also a salt lick? On the early morning of 22nd August 2014, a male Common Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) visited my porch to lick the wooden strips that line the roof (above). These strips of wood had been varnished about two decades ago and have yet to fade. However, the edges of some appear worn out. Can this be because of regular licks through the years? This male bat flew in, attached himself onto a wooden strip and immediately began vigorously licking the surface as he moved about.... Read More

Bagworm moth caterpillars

in Fauna, Videography  on Sep 18, 14 No Comments »
Bagworm moth caterpillars “Bagworm moths (Psychidae) are found globally, with 1,350 species described. The name is derived from the habits of their larvae. Caterpillars of bagworm moths build small protective cases or bags out of silk and environmental materials such as sand, soil or plant materials. Each species makes a bag particular to its species. Here are 3 rather different ones that I’ve met locally. “The one at the top is pretending to be a pine cone while that on the... Read More

Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo feeding on Bottle Brush seeds

The Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynus latirostris) is endemic to Western Australia and highly endangered. A recent report found that it may disappear from the Perth region within 15 years LINK. “The cockatoo is a seed-eater, feeding mainly on the kernels of proteaceous plants like Grevellea, Dryandra and Banksia. The cockatoo bites and tears open the thick woody capsule and cones that enclose the seed. “The video above shows the cockatoo handling the fruiting... Read More

Bats in my porch: 13. Territory and Courtship

in Fauna, Videography  on Sep 07, 14 No Comments »
Bats in my porch: 13. Territory and Courtship At 17:30h on the 17th August 2014, a lone male Common Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) arrived in my porch to stake his territory (above). Hanging quietly from a wooden strip, he soon began to actively groom himself – licking and stretching his wings (below). Soon he crawled about the roof. By 19:00h a lone female flew in and landed by his side. With her arrival, he immediately directed his attention at her – unfolding his wings and flapping them to expose her to... Read More

Bats in my porch: 12. Grooming

Bats in my porch: 12. Grooming Common Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis), like all other bats, indulge in self-grooming most of the time when they are roosting. The bats arrive at the roosting site covered with plant sap, pollen and sometimes drops of water from the rain (above left). Grooming also removes ectoparasites. The images on the above-right shows a meticulously groomed bat after about half an hour of vigorous grooming. Bats also indulge in allogrooming or mutual (also known as directional)... Read More

Asian Openbill – other prey consumed

Asian Openbill – other prey consumed “The Asian Openbills (Anastomus oscitans) feed mainly on large molluscs, especially the freshwater Golden Apple Snail Pomacea canaliculata LINK. “At this site (Malim Nawar Wetlands, Perak, Malaysia; Habitat: Extensive ex-tin mining area with pond/lakes, wetlands, fish farming), their primary feeding pond has recently been drained and now covered with grass and muddy patches. “They continue to feed in large numbers (130-150) at the site. Although they feed on... Read More

Bats roosting in my porch: 9. Mating

in Fauna, Videography  on Aug 25, 14 No Comments »
Bats roosting in my porch: 9. Mating It was on the evening of 2nd August 2014 that the mating of the Common Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) was documented. At around1800 hours there was a lone bat roosting in the porch (above). This was unusually early as they normally start to arrive half to an hour later. By 2040 hours there was a small colony of 13 bats. Most of the bats were either actively grooming themselves or simply hanging quietly. Usually there would be one bat with its wings extended nearly all... Read More

Greater Banded Hornet nest

in Fauna, Videography  on Aug 20, 14 No Comments »
Greater Banded Hornet nest “Unlike the more common Lesser Banded Hornet which builds a beautifully patterned nest LINK, the Greater Banded Hornet builds nests underground or in concealed cavities. “I came across this nest in a wall cavity, with hornets continuously emerging from and returning to the nest. While taking the video, I noticed one of them positioned at the nest entrance, rapidly fanning its wings to cool the nest, while another one stood protectively on guard – as shown in the... Read More

Bats roosting in my porch: 7. Arrival of the Common Fruit Bats

in Fauna, Roosting, Videography  on Aug 19, 14 4 Comments »
Bats roosting in my porch: 7. Arrival of the Common Fruit Bats A few years ago a family of Common Fruit Bats (Cynopterus brachyotis) consisting of an alpha male and his harem of females roosted in my porch LINK. But then the mess they left on the floor below left me with no choice but to discourage their presence. The colony has now gone and in its place are groups that arrive at two different times, to rest for a few hours after a heavy meal. I have managed to partially discourage them, especially the early morning group LINK but not... Read More

Rufescent Prinia – calls

Rufescent Prinia - calls “Rufescent Prinia (Prinia rufescens extrema) are not as common as the Yellow-bellied Prinia (Prinia flaviventris) but can be mistaken at first glance or if only the head and upper breast are seen. “However the calls made by both species are very different. The Rufescent Prinia has a number of calls, I heard 4 this morning. 1. One is a strident call that comes in runs of 3-7 (see audio recording HERE and video (above) and waveform-sonogram below. 2. Another a softer... Read More