• 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,...

Rusty-rumped Warbler – call

Rusty-rumped Warbler - call “Went out looking for migratory Reed Warblers this morning; heard 3 but only saw one. I was surprised that it was the Locustella Warbler (Locustella certhiola) the hardest for me to spot. It is said to be more active in the evening but, in the past and at this visit, it can be spotted in the undergrowth in the mornings preening or foraging (above). “The above nicely shows the horn black or ivory upper mandible. “There a number of calls but the one I managed to record... Read More

Large Woodshrike – juvenile’s call

in Vocalisation  on Oct 26, 14 No Comments »
Large Woodshrike – juvenile's call “A family of Large Woodshrikes (Tephrodornis gularis fretensis) was sighted, an adult pair (above) and two juveniles. The juveniles were old enough to forage on their own, although I saw episodes where they were expectant of being fed but were disappointed (above, below). “An edited audio recording HERE with waveform and sonogram of a less common adult call is given below. “Described by Madoc (see Wells 2007) as a warning-scolding ‘skatch-skatch’. The... 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

Red-whiskered Bulbul’s calls

in Vocalisation  on Oct 17, 14 No Comments »
Red-whiskered Bulbul's calls “This Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus pattani) is locally endangered due to extensive trapping. It is usually found in the north but feral populations exist in the south. “See this article from Thailand that outlines the severity of the issue & risk of extinction: LINK. “Was wandering around the city to look for migrants when spotted two Red-whiskered Bulbuls. Their cheerful calls make them easy to spot. A sonogram and waveform of the common call is... 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

Banded Woodpecker – male territorial conflict and calls

Banded Woodpecker – male territorial conflict and calls “I was on the way out when I heard these unusual, mournful calls. Found these two male Banded Woodpecker (Picus miniaceus malaccense) involved in a territorial conflict (above). I did not see any female nearby. The image below is a composite of the same bird in call and at rest. “They were so intent on each other that I was ignored, even at 4-5 meters distance. Much of the time they stood their ‘ground’, with a face off. Intermittently they would burst out in a in... Read More

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