• 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,...

Red-whiskered Bulbul: 3. The egg hatched… then tragedy

19 May 2015   in Nesting-failed, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Red-whiskered Bulbul: 3. The egg hatched… then tragedy Nest building by the pair of Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) in the Belimbing (Averrhoa carambola) tree is posted HERE while an account of the incubation can be viewed HERE. After about 12 days of incubation, there were signs that an egg had hatched. On the evening of the 12th day, the arrivals and departures from the nest increased significantly, as compared to the incubation period. Setting up a video camera near the nest and leaving it there for two hours... Read More

Crimson-breasted and Yellow-breasted Flowerpeckers feeding on Melastoma malabathricum fruits

18 May 2015   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Crimson-breasted and Yellow-breasted Flowerpeckers feeding on Melastoma malabathricum fruits “Many flowerpecker came to feed on the Straits Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum), offering close views. “Top and above show a male Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker (Prionochilus percussus ignicapilla) feeding, while below is the female. “Another visitor to the Straits Rhododendron was the Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker (Prionochilus maculatus), a male (below). But more shy and much less often seen. Locally near threatened (Wells 2007).” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh... Read More

Where have our Common Mynas gone?

17 May 2015   in Species No Comments »
Contributed by Lee Chiu San & Dato' Dr Amar-Singh HSS
“The Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) has become decidedly uncommon in Singapore. I wonder if foreign talent has displaced local talent even in beachcombing. “Some years ago, our good webmaster raised the question of whether Common Mynas were decreasing. At that time I was still living in Serangoon Gardens and maintaining four aviaries plus another half-a-dozen breeding cages. Wild birds were always hanging around for scraps, and I used to feed my pet birds’... Read More

WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN BATHING

16 May 2015   in Feathers-maintenance, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN BATHING “On 19th November 2014, I discretely documented a private moment in the life of a White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) from a quiet, concealed corner at a local pond. “Under the notion that no one was watching it, the Waterhen let its guard down and waded into the inviting water till waist-deep (above). “It then began the routine of flapping its wings vigorously onto the water surface (above, below), as well as dipping its head... Read More

Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike – nest sanitation

15 May 2015   in Nesting, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike – nest sanitation “I have continued to monitor one pair of Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrikes (Hemipus picatus intermedius) nesting LINK. “They have one chick that they are currently feeding. Had an opportunity to see nest sanitation. The episode occurred immediately after feeding. I was not able to determine any ‘signal’ that the parent gave the chick. “The faecal sac extruded was eaten by the parent. Frank B. Gill (Ornithology, WH Freeman & Co, 3rd Revised edition, 2006) states... Read More

Black-shouldered Kite regurgitation or vomiting?

14 May 2015   in Miscellaneous, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Chan Yoke Meng, Melinda Chan, Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS, Lee Chiu San & YC Wee
Black-shouldered Kite regurgitation or vomiting? On 21st April 2015, Melinda Chan sent in two images of a juvenile Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) photographed by Chan Yoke Meng (above, below). The kite was on a high perch spewing a sticky substance. There were two other juvenile kites on the same tree. They had a flock of Red-breasted Parakeets (Psittacula alexandri) as well as a single Hahn’s Macaw for company. Was the kite regurgitating or vomiting? According to the literature, regurgitation is part of... Read More

Rock Pigeon “kissing”

13 May 2015   in Courtship-Mating, Pigeon-Dove 1 Comment »
Contributed by Chew Yen Fook, Lee Chiu San & YC Wee
Rock Pigeon “kissing” Chew Yen Fook’s image of a Rock Pigeon’s so-called “kissing” (Columba livia) intrigued him. It shows one bird thrusting its bill deep into the gape of another (above). This phenomenon is usually seen when adult pigeons and doves feed their chicks crop milk in the nest LINK. It has also been reported between chicks and recently fledged juveniles LINK. What is unusual in Yen Fook’s observation is that immediately after “kissing” one bird mounted the other and... Read More

Everett’s White-eye feeding on nectar and ants

12 May 2015   in Feeding-invertebrates, Feeding-plants 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Everett's White-eye feeding on nectar and ants “The Everett’s White-eye (Zosterops everetti tahanensis) have a large diet, with much still undocumented. “I was watching a small flock take insects when they stopped to feed on the nectar of the Callistemon sp. (Bottlebrushe) trees by the road side (above). “When feeding on insects, they were predominantly taking ants, which was a bit of a surprise to me (above). The ants were eaten and not used for ‘anting’” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak,... Read More

VARIEGATED GREEN SKIMMER OVIPOSITING

11 May 2015   in Dragonflies-Damselflies, Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
VARIEGATED GREEN SKIMMER OVIPOSITING “Between October and November 2014, I was able to observe the ovipositing (egg-laying) behaviour of female Variegated Green Skimmer (Orthetrum sabina) dragonflies, which often commences soon after mating. “The inseminated female would repeatedly dip the tip of her abdomen near the pond’s edge, creating multiple ripples over the water surface (above). “Video clips of the ovipositing females may be previewed here: “One morning, a female had a very close shave... Read More

Red-shouldered Macaw eating flowers and seeds of the Rain Tree

10 May 2015   in Feeding-plants, Parrots No Comments »
Contributed by Chan Yoke Meng & Melinda Chan
Red-shouldered Macaw eating flowers and seeds of the Rain Tree Chan Yoke Meng photographed this Red-shouldered Macaw or Hahn’s Macaw (Diopsittaca nobilis) eating the florets and fruits of the Rain Tree (Samanea saman, now Albizia saman). The presence of a ring on right foot points to its escapee status. It probably escaped from Jurong Bird Park or the local bird trade. The macaw picked up the small florets, eatng the basal portion where the nectar is and discarding the many long stamens (top). It also seek out the fruits,... Read More