• 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,...

Sighting of Pin-tailed Whydah Juveniles

24 Jun 2015   in Courtship-Mating, Nesting 3 Comments »
Contributed by Kwong Wai Chong
Sighting of Pin-tailed Whydah Juveniles “The courtship of the Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura) was first documented here in May 2013 LINK. “Two years later, in April/May 2015, many birders and photographers had congregated at the same location of Pulau Punggol Barat. This was after news spread that Pin-tailed Whydahs had been spotted and indulging in courtship displays (above). “The handsome male in breeding plumage with his very long black tail is already a sight to behold (above).... Read More

Brown-throated Sunbird – female collecting caterpillars for young

23 Jun 2015   in Feeding chicks, Sunbirds No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Brown-throated Sunbird – female collecting caterpillars for young “These images and observations are from our ‘magic’ kitchen window which allow good, close observations as the tinted glass and our wild garden combination brings many birds. When my wife calls me to the window, I have to grab my camera and rush over. “This time it was to see the ‘odd’ behaviour of an adult female Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis malacensis). This sunbird is well known for feeding on nectar with some records of frugivory (I have... Read More

Snakes in my garden…

21 Jun 2015   in Fauna, Interspecific, Reptiles No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee, Dr Leong Tzi Ming, Johnny Wee & Estela
Snakes in my garden… More than a decade ago I was introduced to an Oriental Whip Snake (Ahaetulla prasina) in my garden (above). This is a slender green snake whose pupil is horizontally elongated. I knew that it was not dangerous, although it was mildly venomous. Not sure what happened to it… probably crawled into the neighbour’s garden. My next encounter was in January 2015. It was not a snake but its skin – a beautiful piece discarded by a snake that grew too big for its skin... Read More

Pink-necked Green-pigeon feeding 3 fledglings

20 Jun 2015   in Fledgling-Fledging, Pigeon-Dove, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Rosemary Tan & YC Wee
Pink-necked Green-pigeon feeding 3 fledglings Rosemary Tan’s video clip of an adult Pink-necked Green-pigeon (Treron vernans) feeding three fledglings was documented in Tiong Bahru (below). There is something unusual here. Normal the full clutch for such green-pigeon is two but in this case there were three eggs laid, thus three fledglings. As there is only one adult here caring for them, the fledglings are fighting to be fed, to the extent of climbing all over the adult. (The above image shows a colourful male on... Read More

Grey-headed Fish-eagle vs White-bellied Sea-eagle

19 Jun 2015   in Interspecific, Raptors 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Grey-headed Fish-eagle vs White-bellied Sea-eagle “Watched an altercation between a nesting Grey-headed Fish-eagle (Icthyophaga ichthyaetus) and a ‘trespassing’ White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster). “The conflict lasted 8 minutes with both birds ‘dive booming’ each other (predominantly the Grey-headed Fish-eagle) and mid-air physical interactions. The series of images attempt to show the ‘action’ with a composite below. “The Grey-headed Fish-eagle would stretch out the feet/claws to impact... Read More

Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo eating caterpillar

18 Jun 2015   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Chan Yoke Meng, Melinda Chan & Khew Sin Khoon
Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo eating caterpillar Chan Yoke Meng’s images of the Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx basalis) manipulating a caterpillar were photographed at Punggol Barat. This rare winter visitor flies in from Australia during the southern winter months of May to August. Caterpillars are a favourite food for birds LINK. However, there is a need to prepare the caterpillars before swallowing, especially those covered with hairs. This involves rubbing it against a branch or moving it along... Read More

Asian Glossy Starling eating Ceram Palm fruits

17 Jun 2015   in Feeding-plants, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
It was about 1800 hours in the evening and the Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis) were gathering in preparation for their night roost elsewhere LINK. As usual the two Ceram Palms (Rhopaloblaste ceramica) in my garden were the main gathering points. In this instance one of the palms with a bunch of ripe fruits attracted a number of juvenile Asian Glossy Starlings. Birds like Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) LINK, Pied Imperial-pigeons (Ducula bicolour) LINK and... Read More

Purple-backed Starlings at a termite hatch

16 Jun 2015   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Purple-backed Starlings at a termite hatch “Saw a flock of 35-40 of these migratory Purple-backed Starling (Sturnus sturninus) with a few 1st winter birds. (Above shows an adult male, below adult male at left and adult female at right.) “They were aerial foraging for swarming termites in the early morning with Blue-tailed Bee-eaters (Merops philippinus), mynas, a pair of Pied Trillers (Lalage nigra), a White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis), etc. (The image above shows 1st winter starling and below,... Read More

COMMON FLANGETAIL OVIPOSITING

15 Jun 2015   in Dragonflies-Damselflies, Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Leong Tzi Ming
COMMON FLANGETAIL OVIPOSITING “Although the Common Flangetail (Ictinogomphus decoratus, family Gomphidae) is a fairly widespread dragonfly species in Singapore, observations of their mating activity or egg-laying behaviour seem scarce. I have only ever witnessed their brief mating twice in the field, but their union has always been too fast and furious for me to document. “Soon after mating, the female would seek a suitable site to deposit her eggs. On the 19th November 2014, I was thrilled with the... Read More

Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker and its black excrements

14 Jun 2015   in Feeding-plants 2 Comments »
Contributed by Chan Yoke Meng, Melinda Chan & Francis Lim
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker and its black excrements Chan Yoke Meng was photographing a male Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum) feasting on the succulent fruits of Singapore Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum) when the bird suddenly defecated. What came out from the vent (the external opening of the cloaca) was a string of sticky, blackish waste. Being sticky, the blackish mass was stuck to the bird’s vent. It had to wipe its posterior against the branch to get rid of it. This effectively transferred the... Read More