• 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,...

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

Grey Crowned Crane courtship dance

Grey Crowned Crane courtship dance “A pair of African Grey Crowned Cranes (Balearica regulorum), believed to have been released from a pet farm in the Seletar area a year or two ago, has been attracting attention from birders and non-birders alike for some time now, since these big magnificent birds were first spotted at open fields near Seletar airbase. “Since the beginning of this year, they have been appearing regularly at the golf course at Seletar Country Club, and I managed to capture one of them... Read More

The banana plant and its complement of fauna

in Fauna, Plants, Videography  on Aug 06, 14 No Comments »
The banana plant and its complement of fauna On January 2013 Tan Teo Seng gave me a young banana plant (Musa edible cultivar) in a small polybag. It was a tissue culture plant, produced for the banana plantations in Malaysia. I transferred the plant into the soil and within nine months it put out a huge inflorescence that developed into a large bunch of fruits (below left). In June 2014 the oldest of my second-generation plants suddenly sprouted its inflorescence. I did not see it emerging from the top the day... Read More

Danainae butterflies – leaf scratching and withered plants

in Fauna, Videography  on Jul 30, 14 2 Comments »
Danainae butterflies - leaf scratching and withered plants “Many plants contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids as a defense mechanism against insect herbivores. In turn there are many insects that consume the plants and build up the alkaloids in their bodies. “Danainae butterflies (Tigers and Crows) have long been recognised to be attracted to and ‘feed’ on plants of certain genera, both withered and living LINK. “Here’s a Common Tiger (Danaus genutia genutia) scratching and sucking at a living Rattleweed (Crotalaria... Read More

YELLOW-VENTED BULBUL PREENING and DEFAECATION

YELLOW-VENTED BULBUL PREENING and DEFAECATION “On the afternoon of 26th June 2014, a Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) was perched high up a mature fig tree and fastidiously preening itself (above). From this vantage point, its sulphur-yellow vent feathers could be admired in all its splendour. “A video clip of this preening activity may be previewed above. “In between preening, there was a brief pause to answer nature’s call. This was preceded by the raising of its tail, lowering of its belly... Read More

Nesting of the Common Iora: 1. Harvesting spider web

in Nests, Videography  on Jul 20, 14 1 Comment »
Nesting of the Common Iora: 1. Harvesting spider web “I try to make it home for lunch most working days and there is much activity to observe. The resident pair of Common Ioras (Aegithina tiphia horizoptera) are very active calling as they work on their new nest. Both partners actively engaged. “Had an opportunity to watch them harvest spider web to strengthen their nest, while we were having lunch. The bird would open its beak to snag the web (top), then twist the head to apply tension (above). “After some attempts... Read More

Green-billed Malkoha – nest building

in Nesting, Videography  on Jul 16, 14 1 Comment »
Green-billed Malkoha – nest building “Spotted a Green-billed Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus tristis longicaudatus) building a nest and harvesting twigs from a nearby dead tree (above, below). Only one adult was seen involved in nest building. “The nest was located in the fork of a young Rain Tree (Albizia saman) approximately 4 meters above the ground level (below). The tree is overgrown with creepers and the nest itself is located in a dense part of these creepers. Besides the twigs, fresh leaves were also... Read More

LEAF MONKEYS FEEDING ON MORNING GLORY

LEAF MONKEYS FEEDING ON MORNING GLORY “On the afternoon of 22nd June 2014, while awaiting the closing ceremony of the Fraser’s Hill Bird Race, we were being amused and entertained by a family of White-thighed Leaf Monkeys (Presbytis siamensis), especially their adorable juveniles (above, below). “While the juveniles were playing amongst themselves and observing us with wide-eyed curiosity, the adults were diligently feeding on the lush growth of morning glory (Ipomoea cairica, family Convolvulaceae) on... Read More