• 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,...

STRAW-HEADED BULBULS FORAGING

STRAW-HEADED BULBULS FORAGING “On the afternoon of 22nd September 2014, a small family of Straw-headed Bulbuls (Pycnonotus zeylanicus) arrived onto the scene as I was strolling along forest edge. They appeared to be in visual search mode and were intently scanning the surrounding vegetation, with hunger in their eyes (above, below). “It seemed like they were on the lookout for insects that may be hiding amongst the leaves and vines. There also seemed to be some loose association with... Read More

Pollination of Citrus x microcarpa flowers

in Fauna, Plants, Videography  on Nov 24, 14 No Comments »
Pollination of Citrus x microcarpa flowers Citrus x microcarpa is a natural hybrid, commonly known as Calamansi or Calamondin – or limau kesturi in Malay. The plant is grown for its small, round fruits whose juice is used in local cuisine or to make a sour drink. The flowers are white and fragrant. Pollination of the flowers is by Stingless Bees (Trigona sp., family Apidae) and ants. The image above shows the anthers (pollen sacs) of the flower less the other parts. Note that the anthers have yet to pop and... Read More

WHITE-CRESTED LAUGHINGTHRUSH TACKLES HAIRY CATERPILLAR

WHITE-CRESTED LAUGHINGTHRUSH TACKLES HAIRY CATERPILLAR “On the 22nd September 2014, I was observing a small group of White-crested Laughingthrushes (Garrulax leucolophus) foraging at a local park when a particular individual caught my eye. It had just found a feisty moth caterpillar which was covered in irritant hairs and stinging spines. My curiosity was aroused and I wondered how this bird would surmount the walls of self defense put up by the wriggly and spiky caterpillar. “Firstly, the laughingthrush used the tip of its... Read More

Bats in my porch: 22. Mating again

in Fauna, Videography  on Nov 21, 14 No Comments »
Bats in my porch: 22. Mating again On 4th October 2014, there was, as always, a dominant male Common Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) hanging in the porch (above). As usual, he was the first to be there, well before 19:00 hours. His presence attracted a few females and juveniles. The colony of about eight bats will only by there when both the spotlights are switched on. During this period, the bats would hang from the wooden strips. A few would fly out to return later. Other bats would fly in, some trying... Read More

Reticulated or Singapore Swamp Crab

in Fauna, Videography  on Nov 20, 14 No Comments »
Reticulated or Singapore Swamp Crab “One of three critically endangered crabs that are uniquely Singaporean, the Reticulated or Singapore Swamp Crab (Parathelphusa reticulata), is so named for the beautiful reticulate or mesh-like patterning on its carapace (below). “Discovered and named by Prof Peter Ng of the National University of Singapore in 1990, a gripping account of its discovery is found here LINK and reproduced as follows : “Ng’s ‘all time favourite’ discovery came in 1990. In 1988... Read More

Curlew Sandpiper – feeding behaviour

Curlew Sandpiper - feeding behaviour “Eight to ten Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferrugine) present at this site, solitary or in pairs mixing with other waders. “Actively feeding as can be seen in the video below. “The feeding as been described as ‘probing in an incessant “stitching” motion’ LINK. “The above is a composite of posture changes. “Waders are a hard group for me to ID but fortunately Curlew Sandpipers are one of the easier ones.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh,... Read More

Bats in my porch: 21. Hanging CDs

in Fauna, Videography  on Nov 14, 14 9 Comments »
Bats in my porch: 21. Hanging CDs A colony of Common Fruit Bats (Cynopterus brachyotis) had been roosting in my porch since 2006 LINK. In 2014 I got tired of the mess the bats left behind and decided to find ways to get rid of the colony. First I installed a pair of powerful spotlights LINK. This was followed by placing Compact Discs on the floor to reflect light onto the bats above. This worked initially but not for long LINK 1 and LINK 2. Along the way I found that turning on the spotlights in the late... Read More

YELLOW-BARRED FLUTTERER MATING

in Fauna, Videography  on Nov 12, 14 No Comments »
YELLOW-BARRED FLUTTERER MATING “While exploring a local lotus pond in September 2014, I was delighted by the diversity of dragonfly inhabitants, including the Yellow-barred Flutterer (Rhyothemis phyllis, family Libellulidae). When not floating and flying around, they would perch briefly on the lotus plants (above). “Video clips of these dragonflies at home and at ease in their pond habitat may be previewed below: “Although this is a rather common and widespread species, we rarely get... Read More

Bats in my porch: 20. When the female rejects the male

in Fauna, Videography  on Nov 09, 14 3 Comments »
Bats in my porch: 20. When the female rejects the male At the roost, the dominant male Common Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) is constantly on the lookout for females in oestrus (above). He will move from one female to another with outstretched wings, regularly flapping them vigorously. Most of the time the female that is being courted hangs from the roost quietly with wings wrapped tightly round her body. Only once in a long while will she groom herself. The male remains in front of the female for as long as 20-30 minutes... Read More

LEOPARD LINGERING ON LOTUS

in Fauna, Videography  on Nov 08, 14 No Comments »
LEOPARD LINGERING ON LOTUS The Leopard (Phalanta phalantha phalantha, family Nymphalidae, subfamily Heliconiinae) is a relatively common butterfly species in Singapore and may be found in secondary growth within urban parks and gardens (Khew, 2010). It is known to be restless and skittish, constantly on the move. On the morning of 20th September 2014, I was able to observe an individual of this species in the middle of a lotus pond (top, above). It had landed upon the mature seed pod of the lotus... Read More