• 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,...

A Rare Male Asian Koel Call – With Sound Visualisation

in Videography, Vocalisation  on Mar 05, 15 2 Comments »
A Rare Male Asian Koel Call - With Sound Visualisation “There is a rarely heard male Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) call that I am familiar with but has been elusive to document. It is elusive in the sense that the soft call is only heard when I am near to or under the tree where the bird is. “Unlike the more familiar melancholic “ko-el ko-el” call, which rises in pitch and finally ends in frantic desperation and then it starts all over again, this call is uttered once only. “I had previously recorded one... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 15. Black Bulbul’s calls

in Species, Vocalisation  on Mar 04, 15 No Comments »
Birding in Taiwan: 15. Black Bulbul's calls “The Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus nigerrimus) is a cheerful bulbul found in the plains and lower montane forest of Taiwan. The local endemic subspecies is all black, including the head and has a prominent pale blue-grey patch on the wings. “Although said to be ‘black’, in good light there is a metallic bluish sheen to the plumage. The bright orange beak and feet make for an interesting contrast. Has an erectile crown/crest that is often kept up.... Read More

Happy Yellow-vented Bulbuls

Happy Yellow-vented Bulbuls “The clips below capture the few enraptured moments that the Yellow-vented Bulbul(s) (Pycnonotus goiavier) enjoyed during the month of October 2014. The Curry Leaf Bush (Murraya koenigii) fruits were ripening in abundance and the bulbuls feasted and sang and danced in the rain. “The Curry Leaf Bush fruit was obviously huge and the bulbul manipulated the fruit until the seed dropped off. Then the whole fruit was flattened to shape and swallowed in one gulp (above). Yum... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 14. Plumbeous Water Redstart

Birding in Taiwan: 14. Plumbeous Water Redstart “A common resident in Taiwan and is found between 500 and 2,300m above sea level (Avifauna of Taiwan, 2nd edition) is the Plumbeous Water Redstart (Rhyacornis fuliginosa affinis). Brazil 2009 states ‘200-2,500 meters with some attitudinal migration’. Above shows the male and below the female. “The endemic subspecies in Taiwan R. f. affinis is said (Brazil 2009) to be ‘mid-grey with two faint white wingbars, grey underparts scaled white from chin to breast’. We... Read More

Dollarbird’s calls

in Vocalisation  on Feb 15, 15 No Comments »
Dollarbird’s  calls “We spotted a pair of Dollarbirds (Eurystomus orientalis) when out cycling in the early morning and I went back to have a look. They made a lot of calls and I was able to record two type HERE. “The first call is described by Wells 1999 as ‘skatch-skatch’. These are louder, less frequently used. The second half of the recording has the commoner, softer ‘tchek’ single note calls. I often hear them used in communication between pairs, but suspect they are also an... Read More

The Saddlebird of New Zealand

The Saddlebird of New Zealand “The Saddleback (Philesturnus carunculatus) is a wattlebird related to the kokako LINK. The chestnut coloured saddle and wattles differentiates it from the kokako with the purple coloured wattles. It is an insect feeder and is usually found at mid-tree level, hopping about in search of insects and grubs. “Once common throughout the main island, they are now found on safe island havens which have eliminated rats, stoats and possums. “This specimen was filmed at... Read More

Ashy Tailorbird – male warning calls

in Vocalisation  on Feb 09, 15 No Comments »
Ashy Tailorbird – male warning calls “Came across a pair of Ashy Tailorbird (Orthotomus ruficeps cineraceus) and their behaviour and calls suggested they were nesting. The calls made were the ‘zeze, zezee’ type, HERE. “The sonogram and waveform are shown below. “Calls were made predominantly by the male with occasional soft answering by female.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 31st October 2014 Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia Habitat: Mixed... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 11. White-whiskered Laughingthrush

in Species, Vocalisation  on Feb 06, 15 No Comments »
Birding in Taiwan: 11. White-whiskered Laughingthrush “This endemic is locally called the Taiwan Laughingthrush (Garrulax morrisonianus). Found at altitudes above 2,300 meters ASL but will move lower in winter to 1,500 meters. (Avifauna of Taiwan, 2nd edition). Some consider this bird a non-seasonal altitudinal migrant, i.e. moving lower when the weather is unfavourable. “Pairs are monogamous and stay together even in non-breeding periods; I saw allopreening being done between pairs. Previously kept as part of the pet... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 10. Taiwan Yuhina

Birding in Taiwan: 10. Taiwan Yuhina “A delightful little Taiwan Yuhina (Yuhina brunneiceps) with elegant crest and facial markings. Common in the highlands and one of the most frequent birds seen in mix foraging parties. We saw it often feeding on berries (nectar in the spring) in flocks of 5-10. “There is some variation in the tone of the breast/underparts. It is described as ‘off white’ or ‘whitish’ with chestnut brown streaks at flanks. But I noticed some birds have light yellow and other a... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 9. Taiwan Hwamei

Birding in Taiwan: 9. Taiwan Hwamei “An endemic Laughingthrush that is a “secretive resident of scrub, tall grass and forest edge” (Brazil 2009), the Taiwan Hwamei (Garrulax taewanus) is usually found below an altitude of 300 meters but small numbers can extend to an altitude of 1,000 meters ASL (Avifauna of Taiwan, 2nd edition). “This species is classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN red list. It was common in the past but lowland habitat damage and pet bird trade as a singing bird dwindled... Read More