• 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,...

Lesser Banded Hornets having a drink

18 Jul 2014   in Fauna No Comments »
Contributed by Lena Chow
Lesser Banded Hornets having a drink  “I read with interest the previous article about Giant Honey Bees at a drinking session LINK. “On a hot day last week, I came across this pair of Lesser Banded Hornets (Vespa affinis) lapping up at the edge of a pond, also with pulsating abdomens as with the bees (above, video below). I suppose like the bees, they were also quenching their thirst as well as bringing some of the water back to their nest to cool it. “The Lesser Banded Hornet has an unmistakable large... Read More

Common Macaranga (Macaranga bancana) and its ants

17 Jul 2014   in Fauna, Plants No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee & Wang Luan Keng
Common Macaranga (Macaranga bancana) and its ants The Common Mahang (Macaranga bancana) is commonly seen in Singapore’s secondary forest (above). It is easily recognised by the large, three-lobed leaves and the presence of tiny ants that nest inside the hollows of young twigs. Young leaves are reddish purple with prominent glands lining the edge (below). This is one of the most popular trees with birds. Up up to 30 species have been recorded visiting the tree, mainly for the fruits LINK. The plant has developed an... Read More

Green-billed Malkoha – nest building

16 Jul 2014   in Nesting, Videography 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Green-billed Malkoha – nest building “Spotted a Green-billed Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus tristis longicaudatus) building a nest and harvesting twigs from a nearby dead tree (above, below). Only one adult was seen involved in nest building. “The nest was located in the fork of a young Rain Tree (Albizia saman) approximately 4 meters above the ground level (below). The tree is overgrown with creepers and the nest itself is located in a dense part of these creepers. Besides the twigs, fresh leaves were also... Read More

LEAF MONKEYS FEEDING ON MORNING GLORY

15 Jul 2014   in Fauna, Feeding-plants, Videography 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Leong Tzi Ming, Dr. Vilma D’Rozario & Morten Strange
LEAF MONKEYS FEEDING ON MORNING GLORY “On the afternoon of 22nd June 2014, while awaiting the closing ceremony of the Fraser’s Hill Bird Race, we were being amused and entertained by a family of White-thighed Leaf Monkeys (Presbytis siamensis), especially their adorable juveniles (above, below). “While the juveniles were playing amongst themselves and observing us with wide-eyed curiosity, the adults were diligently feeding on the lush growth of morning glory (Ipomoea cairica, family Convolvulaceae) on... Read More

Magpie-lark foraging for food

14 Jul 2014   in Feeding strategy, Videography 4 Comments »
Contributed by Teo Lee Wei & K
“The female Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) was seen foraging for insects and grubs amongst the dry leaf litter by shuffling her feet in circles. “The above video was documented in a leafy suburb in Perth, Australia.” Teo Lee Wei & K Singapore 2nd July... Read More

Grey-breasted Spiderhunter – spider prey

13 Jul 2014   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Grey-breasted Spiderhunter - spider prey “I often feel then name ‘spiderhunter’ is inapt, as I have seldom seen spiderhunters take spiders as prey. The diet is more often fruits and nectar from a variety of flowers LINK. Of course, being used to that name for almost 40 years, I cannot think of them as any other name! “Saw this Grey-breasted Spiderhunter (Arachnothera modesta modesta), high in the canopy, stop to feed on spiders. It was part of a large mixed foraging party comprising a variety of... Read More

Starling and bulbul feeding on mango fruit

12 Jul 2014   in Feeding-plants, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Teo Lee Wei & K
Teo Lee Wei & K & K’s video clips show the feeding behaviour of a juvenile Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis) and a family of three Yellow-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus goiavier) feeding on the ripe fruit of the mango (Mangifer indica). The starling perches on the fruit stalk to peck on the flesh (above). After it has enough, it flies to a high-tension wire to clean its bill. With the family of Yellow-vented Bulbul, the three birds take turns to feast on... Read More

Bats Roosting in my porch: 4. Success with early morning arrivals

11 Jul 2014   in Fauna 3 Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Bats Roosting in my porch: 4. Success with early morning arrivals The last post on efforts to discourage roosting of the Common Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) in my porch saw partial success LINK. A pair of powerful spotlights was directed towards where the bats normally roost. In addition, 28 Compact Discs (CDs) were placed on the ground below the roosting area with the shiny surfaces facing up. The bats arrived between 1930-2030 hours and roosted on the roof. Only when efforts were made to cause reflections on the discs did the bats... Read More

The Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)

10 Jul 2014   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-invertebrates, Species No Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee & Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
The Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis) Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis) is a member of the Roller family Coraciidae. Members of this family are so-named because of their rolling courtship flight display. The common name Dollarbird comes from the prominent pale blue coin-shaped spots towards the tips of the wings against a background of dark blue (above). These spots are thought to resemble the American silver dollar coin. Dollarbirds are often seen perched on a bare branch high in a tree (above). This gives... Read More

Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker applying plant sap to feathers

09 Jul 2014   in Feathers-maintenance, Videography 4 Comments »
Contributed by Lena Chow
Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker applying plant sap to feathers “On a recent birding trip to West Bali National Park, Indonesia, I came across yet another woodpecker which seems to be applying tree sap to its feathers. “This female Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos macei) was interestingly tapping for sap from a dead tree. “The Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense) was earlier sighted making use of the sap of the Tamalan Tree (Dalbergia oliveri) for the same purpose, see HERE.” Lena Chow Singapore 19th June... Read More