• 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 “hazy” dawn chorus…

A “hazy” dawn chorus… On the morning of 27th September 2015 I work up at 0630 hours hoping to enjoy the cacophony of birdcalls that herald the coming of dawn. I was disappointed. The chorus started late – 15 minutes to be exact. By then it was light. And the chorus was subdued. There were only isolated calls, lasting for the next half an hour. What the chorus lacked was the usual rich gurgling calls of the Yellow-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus goiavier) (see below). The prevailing haze was... Read More

Grey-rumped Treeswift feeding chick – on video

Grey-rumped Treeswift feeding chick - on video Johnny Wee’s earlier account showed in vivid details an adult female Grey-rumped Treeswift (Hemiprocne longipennis) feeding a large chick as they both perched side by side on a branch LINK. What the series of still images is unable to show is how the feeding is initiated. And this is where Kumchun Chan’s video clip comes into play – see below. Again according to Chantler (2000), “The feeding process is preceded, or initiated, by sibilant screaming (less shrill... Read More

Spectacled Spiderhunter’s nesting behaviour

in Nesting, Vocalisation  on Sep 06, 15 No Comments »
Spectacled Spiderhunter's nesting behaviour “I was fortunate to watch the nesting behaviour of a pair of Spectacled Spiderhunter (Arachnothera flavigaster). “It was 11.20am and I just left the forest reserve and decided to explore the fringe of the reserve where there is overgrown secondary jungle within abandoned plantations. “I heard a spiderhunter call and located the pair. They were exploring the underside of leaves. Over the next 15 minutes I tried to offer them the space they needed while maintaining... Read More

Male Eastern Stonechat in breeding plumage

Male Eastern Stonechat in breeding plumage “The migratory Eastern Stonechats (Saxicola maurus) in the city are near full male breeding plumage (above). Spent some time with one of them today and sharing some observations: 1. Note the well developed orange-rufous breast (above). 2. The video above shows the classical behaviour of the bird perched on a short grass stem twig and the second half shows a feeding episode on the ground. The bird will often descend to the ground to feed. 3. Generally quiet but heard... Read More

Black Magpie – calls an unusual behaviour

in Nesting, Vocalisation  on Jul 27, 15 2 Comments »
Black Magpie – calls an unusual behaviour “Came across a pair of Black Magpie (Platysmurus leucopterus leucopterus) that was involved in nesting activities. I have begun to learn the locations and behaviour of some of the Black Magpie at this site. “A recording HERE and waveform/sonogram (above) of the ‘xylophone’ sequence calls “tok-tok teling-klingk-klingk” (see Wells 2007). “An unusual behaviour I saw of one adult tearing and pulling at a banana leaf (above). It did come away with a piece (above).... Read More

Dark-necked Tailorbird – calls

in Vocalisation  on Jul 15, 15 No Comments »
Dark-necked Tailorbird - calls “I saw the Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius), the Dark-necked Tailorbird (Orthotomus atrogularis) (above and below: male in full breeding plumage) and the Ashy Tailorbird (Orthotomus ruficeps) in the same location today. Some conflict observations with both the Dark-necked and Ashy Tailorbirds chasing off the Common Tailorbirds, possibly territorial, due to breeding. “I heard the common duet calls HERE made by the male and female Dark-necked Tailorbirds. The male... Read More

Dawn Chorus in an urban garden

in Videography, Vocalisation  on Jun 05, 15 4 Comments »
Dawn Chorus in an urban garden During the night diurnal birds roost in trees, remaining silent throughout. Just before dawn they wake up and start vocalising. This mass singing of birds is referred to as the dawn chorus. It has been noted that the quantity and often also the quality of singing during this period is significantly different from the singing during the day. With some species the songs are also different during the day. And not all species join in the chorus at the same time. In my urban... Read More

Red-whiskered Bulbul: 4. Did a hornbill raid the nest?

An earlier post described the nesting tree of the Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) being normal until a strange series of loud calls were heard LINK. Subsequently the bulbuls deserted the nest. On examining the nest the following morning it was found empty with no trace of feathers, etc. The account was also posted in the Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia’s Facebook LINK. This attracted the attention of Jaz Xang who suggested that it could be a hornbill’s... Read More

Common Blackbird chirping merrily

Common Blackbird chirping merrily “This Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) was introduced from Europe to New Zealand in the 1800s. It feeds on slugs, insects, earthworms and is often seen foraging on the ground. The male is all black with an orange beak and eye-ring (above). The female and juvenile are brownish (below). “This male sang merrily despite the heavy traffic below. The video was taken in the evening just before sunset, by the pathway skirting the Botanic Gardens in Wellington, New... Read More

Black-bellied Malkoha – less often seen and photographed

Black-bellied Malkoha - less often seen and photographed “The Black-bellied Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus diardi diardi) (above, below) is said to be seen and photographed less often as it is more ”shy’ than the commonly seen Green-billed Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus tristis longicaudatus). These birds can, at a quick look, be mistaken for each other and their habitat overlap. “The key differentiating features are: 1. Tail length: The Black-bellied has a tail length about equal to the body while the Green-billed has a longer... Read More