• 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,...

ALBINO PLANTAIN SQUIRREL

in Fauna, Videography  on Oct 22, 14 1 Comment »
ALBINO PLANTAIN SQUIRREL “In August 2014, I first laid my eyes on this albino Plantain Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus) at a public park and was way too surprised and speechless to take any decent photographic records. I had good views of it, but it was particularly shy and secretive. Finally, our paths crossed again on the 19th of September and I was able to obtain documentary proof of this elusive squirrel as it was foraging cautiously on the ground (above). “A brief video of this... Read More

Golden-bellied Gerygone serenading

Golden-bellied Gerygone serenading Earlier this year a bird appeared in Lim Shiang Han’s home. Perching in front of the balcony, it serenaded on and on. The next day it returned and again it serenaded. This went on for almost a month. The bird appeared like a sunbird but Shiang Han was not convinced that it was – as it “looks like a sunbird, but its beak is shorter and not as sharp. Also I have never heard sunbirds singing this way.” As curiosity about the identity of the songster got the better... Read More

WATERHEN PREENING AND SUNNING

WATERHEN PREENING AND SUNNING “On the 18th September 2014, I was able to creep up cautiously and observe the prolonged preening activity of White-breasted Waterhens (Amaurornis phoenicurus) at a local lotus pond (above). “As they preened themselves, the waterhens would regularly bob their stumpy tails up in a comical fashion. Even without a mirror, they seemed somewhat conscious of their own appearance. Perhaps they were preparing for a date with a fellow waterhen and paying particular... Read More

Bats in my porch: 18. Adult females and their pups

in Fauna, Videography  on Oct 16, 14 No Comments »
Bats in my porch: 18. Adult females and their pups It was a normal evening in the colony of Common Fruit Bats (Cynopterus brachyotis) roosting in the porch. The alpha male was doing his usual rounds checking on his females. There were two females, each suckling a pup, hanging some distance from each other. One female was making jerking movements with her limbs as if to dislodge the pup from her nipple. After much jerking she managed to free herself and flew off (above and video). The pup was left hanging alone (above).... Read More

Long-tailed Parakeet in comfort behaviour

Long-tailed Parakeet in comfort behaviour “I came across a flock of 40 to 50 Long-tailed Parakeet (Psittacula longicauda) on 3rd September 2014 at about 4.40pm. They were perching on the branches of a tree near the entrance to the Lower Peirce Reservoir engaging in comfort behaviour after a shower. By the time I took out my camera, some of them had already left the scene (above). A female(?) was seen exercising her jaw while moving down a bare branch Sun Chong Hong Singapore 2nd October... Read More

Striated Swallow – calls and preening

Striated Swallow – calls and preening “Had an opportunity to watch Striated Swallows (Hirundo striolata badia) up close, preening with many calls (above, below). [Please note: This species is now known as Rufous-bellied Swallow (Cecropis badia), an endemic to the Thai-Malay Peninsula - see comment by Subaraj Rajathurai below.] “Calls were predominantly the tremulous “schwirrrr” HERE and waveforms/sonograms below. “…and a sharp “cheenk” or “tweep” HERE and waveforms/sonograms... Read More

Bees and the Bilimbing Averrhoa bilimbi flowers

in Fauna, Videography  on Oct 10, 14 No Comments »
Bees and the Bilimbing Averrhoa bilimbi flowers The Bilimbing (Averrhoa bilimbi) is a smallish tree that is commonly planted for its sour fruits often used in Asian cooking. The flowers are reddish, in small bunches arising from the stem and branches of the tree. They open in the early morning and attract small bees that come for the pollen and nectar. The Stingless Bee (Trigona sp.) gathers the pollen grains (rich in protein and fat), storing them in the pair of pollen baskets located on the outer surface of the hind... Read More

Bats in my porch: 17. Folivory

in Fauna, Videography  on Oct 07, 14 No Comments »
Bats in my porch: 17. Folivory The food of the Common Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) consists of mainly fruits, nectar and pollen LINK 1 and LINK 2. However, it occasionally takes leaves as shown in the image on the left (arrow). The images below show two partially eaten leaves, displaying both sides for possible future identification. They were picked up below the roost. Leaves are usually chewed to extract the juice. The pulp as well as parts of the leaves end up on the ground below. Leaves... Read More

WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN FORAGING IN THE RAIN

WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN FORAGING IN THE RAIN “On the afternoon of 3rd September 2014, I was suddenly stranded in a shelter in a public park due to heavy rain. Despite the downpour, a White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) was undeterred and intently searching for food on the soggy ground (above). “As the soil became saturated with rainwater, many soil-dwelling invertebrates, such as worms and insects may be forced to the surface, offering a bounty of food items for the waterhen to feast on. In between... Read More

CHANGEABLE LIZARD – MALE DISPLAYS

in Fauna, Videography  on Oct 04, 14 No Comments »
CHANGEABLE LIZARD – MALE DISPLAYS “In mid-September 2014, I was visibly distracted by the advertisement displays of a few mature male Changeable Lizards (Calotes versicolor, Agamidae) at a public park. After spending sufficient time soaking up the morning sun, they would put on their brightest colours, lower their gular flaps and start bobbing their heads up and down. “Such displays may be performed at ground level (above)… “…on a branch (above)… “…on a... Read More