• 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,...

Raffles’s Malkoha nesting and calls

in Nesting, Vocalisation  on Sep 08, 14 No Comments »
Raffles's Malkoha nesting and calls “I went fairly deep into this forest reserve to get some rest and spotted a female Raffles’s Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus chlorophaeus) bringing prey to juveniles (above). Prey was a large winged insect. “The nest is located 11-12 meters, high up in the crown of large tree (below). The nest may appear very high to us but I was on an old logging trail on the slope of a hill. Hence from the bird’s perspective the crown is easily reached from the vegetation on the top... Read More

Rufescent Prinia – calls

Rufescent Prinia - calls “Rufescent Prinia (Prinia rufescens extrema) are not as common as the Yellow-bellied Prinia (Prinia flaviventris) but can be mistaken at first glance or if only the head and upper breast are seen. “However the calls made by both species are very different. The Rufescent Prinia has a number of calls, I heard 4 this morning. 1. One is a strident call that comes in runs of 3-7 (see audio recording HERE and video (above) and waveform-sonogram below. 2. Another a softer... Read More

Rufous-winged Philentoma’s calls

in Vocalisation  on Aug 07, 14 No Comments »
Rufous-winged Philentoma's calls “I last saw these locally ‘Near Threatened bordering on Vulnerable’ Rufous-winged Philentomas (Philentoma pyrhoptera pyrhoptera) exactly one year ago but at a different forest reserve. A pair was seen today with the male either moulting or immature (above). “At one point the male was singing directly overhead but the dark canopy precluded any good images (above). “I am more certain about calls and there are 3 common ones – the classical loud two... Read More

White-browed Crake’s calls

in Vocalisation  on Aug 04, 14 No Comments »
White-browed Crake’s calls “The calls of the White-browed Crake (Porzana cinerea) (above) are inadequately documented in my region (Wells 1999). I have heard at least 5 different calls, but documentation of them has been difficult due to the secretive nature of this bird. Today I spent time with 6 birds, 3 pairs, and 4 were quite accommodating, even allowing a very close approach. I managed to document 4 of the different calls. “This post has a short recording of the most uncommon and most... Read More

White-crowned Forktail’s calls

in Vocalisation  on Jul 29, 14 No Comments »
White-crowned Forktail’s calls “
Have been seeing White-crowned Forktail (Enicurus leschenaultia frontalis
) intermittently but limited images. Locally it is vulnerable and is uncommon. “Saw two today – an adult and a juvenile. Image posted is of the juvenile.
 “The alarm calls are given HERE. The last part of the recording gives the ususal and contact calls.
 “A sonogram and waveform is provided above.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 15th July Location: Ulu... Read More

The Clouded Monitor and the Banded Bullfrog

The Clouded Monitor and the Banded Bullfrog Johnny Wee encountered a Clouded Monitor (Varanus nebulosus) in Singapore’s Venus Drive in May 2014 (above). Clamped tight in its mouth was a Banded Bullfrog (Kaloula pulchra). The bullfrog was countering the monitor’s attempt at swallowing it by inflating its body. For 15 minutes the monitor tried its utmost to swallow its prey but failed. It eventually gave up and the bullfrog went free. Banded Bullfrogs are not native to Singapore. Commonly sold in pet shops, they... Read More

Little Spiderhunter – nectar feeding and calls

Little Spiderhunter – nectar feeding and calls “The Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra cinireicollis) is still possible to find in selected green lung pockets in the city. Its diet is insect prey (spiders) and nectar. The nectar is taken from flowers of the wild gingers, wild bananas and the Coral tree (Erythrina sp.). The range of flowers fed on is much larger than currently known or documented. They included Passiflora (Passion fruit), Heliconia, Ixora, Powder puff, etc. “Spotted an adult feeding on... Read More

Oriental Pratincole nesting

in Nesting, Vocalisation  on Jul 01, 14 1 Comment »
Oriental Pratincole nesting Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS visited the Malim Nawar Wetlands in South-West Perak, Malaysia on 28th February 2014. This is an extensive ex-tin mining area with many ponds/lakes that have converted to fish farming. There was a flock of at least 35 Oriental Pratincole (Glareola maldivarum) using a freshly cleared land to breed. The image at the top shows an adult incubating the eggs. The nest is a scrape surrounded by a collection of loose vegetable matter with two eggs in it... Read More

Little Grebe – whinny trill calls, courtship?

Little Grebe – whinny trill calls, courtship? “Little Grebes (Tachybaptus ruficollis) have colonised the peninsular since the 1950s and locally retain their ‘breeding’ plumage right through the year (above). There are large numbers at Malim Nawar Wetlands. “I had an opportunity to watch what appeared to be courtship behaviour. Three adults, in good plumage, were ‘horsing around’; most appropriate term I can think of. They were frolicking in the water, with one occasionally ‘taking off’ in flight just... Read More

Migrating Black-browed Reed-warbler in Perak, Malaysia

Migrating Black-browed Reed-warbler in Perak, Malaysia “This post is a culmination of 6 visits to the same site over the past 2.5 months. I have been trying to get to know reed-warblers better and have identified a location where three different migrant species have wintered – the Pallas’s Grasshopper-warbler (Locustella certhiola), Black-browed Reed-warbler (Acrocephalus bistrigiceps) (above, below) and the Oriental Reed-warbler (Acrocephalus orientalis). “The location is a vast one with many, large ex-mining... Read More