• 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,...

Javan Mynas foraging on seagrass meadow

23 Apr 2015   in Feeding-invertebrates 6 Comments »
Contributed by Ria Tan
Javan Mynas foraging on seagrass meadow “I noticed a flock of Common Mynas (Acridotheres tristis) Javan Mynahs (Acridotheres javanicus) foraging on the seagrass meadows near the water line while I was surveying Pasir Ris on 23rd March 2015 [Note: misidentification corrected]. Every now and then, the birds would peck at the ground. I’m sorry I didn’t manage to photograph what they picked up. “There were shorebirds and herons foraging on the water line further away from the beach, as... Read More

Plantain Squirrel’s call

22 Apr 2015   in Fauna, Videography, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Plantain squirrel, also known as Common red-bellied squirrel (Callosciurus notatus singapurensis) is commonly seen in urban gardens (above). I have a pair in my garden LINK and regularly hear their characteristic call. On this particular morning I again heard its characteristic call – sounding like short bursts of machine gun fire. I located the squirrel resting on a horizontal branch of the nearby roadside Golden Penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) tree. Each round of... Read More

Baya Weaver – more nectar feeding

21 Apr 2015   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS & Dieter Oschadleus
Baya Weaver – more nectar feeding “I returned to this site today to do some follow up bird work. I again observed Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus infortunatus), possibly the same flock, feeding on nectar. I initially spotted them feeding on the nectar of the Water Jambu (Syzygium samarangense) and later again on the Callistemon sp. (Bottlebrush) trees. Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 12th April 2015 Location: Tambun Interior, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia Habitat: Secondary growth near limestone... Read More

Mutant Javan Myna

20 Apr 2015   in Morphology-Develop. 3 Comments »
Contributed by Bee Choo Strange
Mutant Javan Myna Bee Choo Strange came across this Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) recently at a bus stop opposite Four Seasons Hotel in Singapore. The myna had a disfigured bill and Bee Choo wondered how it survives and feed. Note: Deformed bills are not a rare phenomenon. We have earlier posted such bills in Javan Myna HERE, Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) HERE and Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) HERE. Birds with such a bill will definitely be at a disadvantage... Read More

Painted Jezebel: 3. Pre-pupation behaviour

19 Apr 2015   in Butterflies and Moths, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Painted Jezebel: 3. Pre-pupation behaviour Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete metarete) caterpillars feed close together on leaves of their food plant for about 20 days (above). During this period they undergo five instars to grow to about 35mm x 4mm. The caterpillars then prepare to pupate. In an effort to observe the caterpillars and the subsequent pupae, the branches of the Malayan Mistletoe (Dendrophthoe pentandra) where the caterpillars were located were cut and placed in a vase of water (above). There, the... Read More

White-bellied Sea-eagle – fishing sequence

18 Apr 2015   in Feeding-vertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
White-bellied Sea-eagle – fishing sequence “Was watching this sub-adult White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) circling the ex-mining pool early in the morning (8.19am) so got ready for the ‘action’. A composite of the fishing sequence with one image (2nd) removed (very blur) taken at 5 fps, so about 1.2 seconds of activity. “Lost some of its grandeur in shrinking the image but still shows the fluid and precise ability to catch fish.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak,... Read More

VARIEGATED GREEN SKIMMER FEEDING

17 Apr 2015   in Dragonflies-Damselflies, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
VARIEGATED GREEN SKIMMER FEEDING “The Variegated Green Skimmer (Orthetrum sabina, family Libellulidae) is a widespread species of dragonfly that would be readily encountered in most ponds and small lakes around Singapore (above). It has a notorious reputation of catching and consuming other species of dragonflies, as well as damselflies. “Please refer to this LINK for an earlier account on its predation. “In late 2014, I was able to witness the voracious appetite of this aerial predator... Read More

Red-whiskered Bulbul: 1. Nest building

16 Apr 2015   in Nesting, Videography, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Red-whiskered Bulbul: 1. Nest building For more than a few months a pair of Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) was seen in and around my garden (above). Their loud and melodious songs cannot help but attract attention to their presence. In March 2015 I began to notice the pair loitering around my Belimbing (Averrhoa belimbi) tree, sometimes hiding among the clusters of leaves at the ends of a pair of closely growing stems. On closer examination I noticed the beginning of a crude nest lodged between the... Read More

Fire-breasted (Buff-bellied) Flowerpecker eating fruits

15 Apr 2015   in Feeding-plants, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HS
Fire-breasted (Buff-bellied) Flowerpecker eating fruits “Saw four of these delightful Fire-breasted (Buff-bellied) Flowerpecker (Dicaeum ignipectus dolichorhynchum) feeding on one of their favourite and regular foods. “They pierce the fruit with the upper mandible until a hole is created. They then suck out the juice and pulp to feed on. The contents are very sticky and leave long trails. “Over the years I have watched this activity, it often it appears that the juice is the primary focus. “A short hand held video... Read More

Purple Heron’s Eel Catch

14 Apr 2015   in Feeding-vertebrates 4 Comments »
Contributed by Kwong Wai Chong
Purple Heron's Eel Catch “I managed to observe a Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) in action after about an hour of waiting. Correct me if I’m wrong – the prey seems to be an eel. [Note: Marcus Ng a.k.a. budak - see comment below - has identified the eel as Oriental Swamp Eel or Monopterus albus.] “This Purple Heron was observed standing in shallow water next to reeds on the bank of a pond in Lorong Halus. It was very patient and stayed in the same position with minimal... Read More