• 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,...

BANDED SKIMMER OVIPOSITING

in Fauna, Videography  on Dec 21, 14 No Comments »
BANDED SKIMMER OVIPOSITING “The male Banded Skimmer (Pseudothemis jorina, Libellulidae) is a dashing dragonfly which is predominantly black all over, with a contrasting white ‘waistband’ on its abdomen (above). “If you come face to face with this dragonfly, its prominent white ‘nose’ and ‘lips’ are most adorable (above). “It is not often that we find males perched, as they have a habit of constantly cruising over long stretches along the banks of large ponds. Their constant... Read More

New Zealand Bellbird singing at Tiritiri Matangi Island

New Zealand Bellbird singing at Tiritiri Matangi Island The New Zealand Bellbird (Anthornis melanura) is a honeyeater well known for its clear, bell-like singing (above, image by Dr Eric Tan). Their tunes are as varied as dialects spoken around the world. Some of their songs could be mistaken for the tuis’, another honeyeater endemic to New Zealand. “This particular bird was spotted singing very vigorously for a long time. Due to the lighting conditions, the colour of the feathers is not fully discernible from below... Read More

Melastoma malabathricum and buzz pollination

in Fauna, Plants, Videography  on Dec 07, 14 No Comments »
Melastoma malabathricum and buzz pollination Singapore Rhododendron or Sendudok (Melastome malabathricum) is commonly seen throughout the tropics. The plant is fast growing, producing attractive, pinkish mauve flowers with two types of stamens. There are five short stamens with yellow filaments (stalks) and anthers (pollen sacs) and five long stamens. The long stamens consist of two parts – the basal part is straight and yellow and the upper part curved and mauve. There are two short horns at the junction where... Read More

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