• 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,...

Rhynchokinesis in the Common Snipe

Rhynchokinesis in the Common Snipe “I am grateful to Hans Peeters for pointing out a feature I saw but had not recognised – Rhynchokinesis. When I posted a video of a Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) HERE (see second half of the video for the behaviour), Hans commented: ‘Amar, you didn’t point out the best part – that in your wonderful little video one can clearly see how the TIP of the maxilla (upper mandible) can be raised or flexed upward, independent of the rest of the bill. A... Read More

Black-winged Stilt feeding on fish

Black-winged Stilt feeding on fish “I have never before seen the Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus himantopus) takes a fish. Spotted this adult with a fish he had foraged (above). The bird proceeded to ‘wash’ the fish a number of times before feeding (below). It even ‘lost’ the prey twice In the process but got it back (one post shows the fish slipping out: above-right). “Looked up the literature on its diet.
 Dostin (1989) from Australia gives a summary of the literature. I... Read More

Black-winged Stilt – feeding, flight and call

Black-winged Stilt - feeding, flight and call “Black-winged Stilts (Himantopus himantopus himantopus) are a joy to watch both for their grace and also as they are usually in a social group. Uncommon at the Peninsular prior to 1996, they now occur in large numbers in my region (Wells 2007). At this wetlands site alone there are an excess of 80 birds. “There are number of feeding techniques used. In shallow waters, besides pecking at prey, they also probe (below, male and female probing). “In... Read More

Common Greenshanks’ aggressive behaviour

Common Greenshanks' aggressive behaviour William Ip is sharing his images of waders that he photographed in Nam San Wai, Hong Kong, somewhere near the Wetland Park sometime last year. Field ornithologist Wang Luan Keng thought the above pair of birds to be Spotted Redshanks (Tringa erythropus) and suggested that David Li of Singapore’s Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve should be consulted as he is among the best in shorebird identification. Well, David confirmed Luan’s ID. David also identified the Common... Read More

Black-winged Stilt at Seletar, Singapore

“Here’s an uncommon winter visitor hanging out at a monsoon pond in a disused area at Seletar. The Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) has a long bill for probing into mud, but in this case, it seems quite happy snacking on water bugs at the water’s surface. “It also bobs its head like a kingfisher from time to time, I wonder why.” Lena Chow Singapore 9th December... Read More

Australian Pied Oystercatcher foraging

Australian Pied Oystercatcher foraging Lena Chow‘s video clip of the Australian Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris) was taken at Perth’s Rottnest Island around August this year. The oystercatcher was patrolling the shores of an inland saltwater lake foraging for food. “Its bright red bill was even more conspicuous on a lawn where it was diligently drilling for grub,” wrote Lena (see video above). Its long pointed bill did not fail it as it found and pulled out a long worm from... Read More

Red-necked Stints in a feeding frenzy

The end of the year is the migratory season LINK and Lena Chow is busy documenting the arrival of the shorebirds. The above video shows a small flock of another winter visitor, the Red-necked Stints (Calidris ruficollis) in a feeding frenzy. These migrants, arriving as early as July, feed in mudflats, sandy shores and shallow freshwater ponds. They constantly probe or jabs into the substratum to look for invertebrates like worms, crustaceans and insect larvae.... Read More

Arrivals of the migrant shorebirds…

This is the migrating reason and we are seeing the arrivals of many shorebirds in Singapore. The following video clips were sent in by Lena Chow, documented during September 2012 feeding along Singapore’s shores. The Sanderling (Calidris alba), an uncommon winter visitor, was sighted in Seletar busy feeding (above). It breeds in Siberia, Alaska, Canada and North Greenland and migrates as far south as Singapore, Java, Bali and Australia. On the other hand the Terek... Read More

Common Sandpipers’ Tail-Fanning & Raised-Wings Displays

in Migration-Migrants, Waders  on Oct 13, 12 1 Comment »
Common Sandpipers' Tail-Fanning & Raised-Wings Displays “The migratory season is hotting up with the arrival of more and more migratory birds at end September 2012. On this stretch of river bed that had been exposed by the receding tide, some migratory waders were spotted. Two Common Sandpipers (Actitis hypoleucos) that were actively chasing each other, vying for territory, caught my attention. “The Common Sandpipers were engaged in territorial fight. The individual that was doing the chasing pounced on its rival... Read More

Bar-Tailed Godwit’s Reach …

Bar-Tailed Godwit's Reach ... “Was at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserves on Tuesday 18th September 2012 observing migrant birds which mostly consist of waders. However did catch sight of a Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) nearby. “What fascinated me most was this Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) who was foraging for worms in the mudflats. Most of the time it did not use the full reach of it’s bill, as can be seen in the first picture where the mud was only halfway up the bill... Read More