• 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,...

Birding in Taiwan: 13. Black Drongo

21 Feb 2015   in Species No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Birding in Taiwan: 13. Black Drongo “The Black Drongos (Dicrurus macrocercus harterti) took me by surprise as to their abundance and the ease at watching them. These resident subspecies are found in the plains and semi-urban environments of Taiwan. “Avifauna of Taiwan, 2nd edition states that they can be found up to 1000 meters ASL. “We saw large number in our time there, perched on roof tops, electrical wires and trees. Often hawking for insects prey in aerial pursuits from a high perch, reminiscent... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 1. The pellets

20 Feb 2015   in Pellets, Raptors 2 Comments »
Contributed by Melinda Chan & Chan Yoke Meng
Pellets from Tuas: 1. The pellets The casting of pellet by certain groups of birds is not too well known– see HERE for more information. After swallowing their prey, these birds regurgitate the indigestible parts that were compacted in the gizzard in a form of pellets. These pellets collect on the ground below the trees where the birds normally perch. Ornithologists collect and study pellets to get information of what the birds had been eating. Of late, Melinda Chan had been collecting these pellets... Read More

Great Cormorant waves in Goolwa, South Australia

19 Feb 2015   in Miscellaneous, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Teo Lee Wei & K
Great Cormorant waves in Goolwa, South Australia “On a visit to the Sunday market at Goolwa, South Australia we noticed waves of black birds flying up river over the Hindmarsh Island Bridge. We could not identify the birds at a distance so we made our way up the bridge. We were amazed that they were Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo). They flew upriver in endless waves. “We walked across to Hindmarsh Island for a short stroll and a few hours later noticed the birds flying in droves in reverse direction now... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 12. Taiwan Blue Magpie

18 Feb 2015   in Species No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Birding in Taiwan: 12. Taiwan Blue Magpie “The Taiwan Blue Magpie (Urocissa caerulea) are striking birds with their very long graduated tails, the strong contrast between the black head/neck, cobalt blue body/tail, the yellow iris and the red-orange beak/feet. They move around in gregarious small flocks; we saw 6-8 at a time. “Endemic to Taiwan, they are found in the lower foothills up to 1000 meters ASL and some descend lower in winter. “The Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive states that they are... Read More

GOLDEN GEM MATING AND OVIPOSITING

17 Feb 2015   in Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
GOLDEN GEM MATING AND OVIPOSITING “The Golden Gem damselfly (Libellago lineata, family Chlorocyphidae) has a limited distribution in Singapore and is only known from a few pristine streams within the central catchment forests. In October 2014, I had the opportunity to observe the adults along such a stream habitat. “The handsome male is dressed in a regal suit of black and golden yellow and will take up a prominent position over his favoured stretch of the stream, guarding his territory (above). “The... Read More

Pintail Snipe’s tongue and bill

16 Feb 2015   in Morphology-Develop. No Comments »
Contributed by Chan Yoke Meng, Melinda Chan & Wang Luan Keng
Pintail Snipe’s tongue and bill Chan Yoke Meng’s image of a Pintail Snipe (Gallinago stenura) with its bill apart (below) provides a rare opportunity to view two uncommon features – part of the bird’s hyoid apparatus and rhynchokinesis. According to field ornithologist Wang Luan Keng in an earlier post HERE: “Bird tongues are usually not muscular structures but operate by means of a bony extension that points backwards. This bony extension is referred to as the hyoid apparatus.” In the... Read More

Dollarbird’s calls

15 Feb 2015   in Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Dollarbird’s  calls “We spotted a pair of Dollarbirds (Eurystomus orientalis) when out cycling in the early morning and I went back to have a look. They made a lot of calls and I was able to record two type HERE. “The first call is described by Wells 1999 as ‘skatch-skatch’. These are louder, less frequently used. The second half of the recording has the commoner, softer ‘tchek’ single note calls. I often hear them used in communication between pairs, but suspect they are also an... Read More

Plantain Squirrel eats Aristolochia acuminata fruit

14 Feb 2015   in Fauna, Plants 3 Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Plantain Squirrel eats Aristolochia acuminata fruit One morning in early December 2014, I was attracted to the loud cries of a pair of Plantain Squirrels, also known as Common Red-bellied Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus singapurensis). The squirrels were in different trees about 10 metres or more from each other. Whether they were mating or territorial cries, I do not know. But the cries went on for quite a few minutes. One of the squirrels was at the top of my Noni tree (Morinda citrifolia). Initially I thought it was eating... Read More

The Saddlebird of New Zealand

13 Feb 2015   in Videography, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Teo Lee Wei, K & Dr Eric Tan
The Saddlebird of New Zealand “The Saddleback (Philesturnus carunculatus) is a wattlebird related to the kokako LINK. The chestnut coloured saddle and wattles differentiates it from the kokako with the purple coloured wattles. It is an insect feeder and is usually found at mid-tree level, hopping about in search of insects and grubs. “Once common throughout the main island, they are now found on safe island havens which have eliminated rats, stoats and possums. “This specimen was filmed at... Read More

Olive-backed Sunbird – extra metallic plumage

12 Feb 2015   in Morphology-Develop., Sunbirds 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Olive-backed Sunbird – extra metallic plumage “A very friendly male Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis flammaxillaris) with the lovely chestnut-red band across the lower breast. It was in full sun which aided a clear observation of the metallic plumage. “What was curious is the extra metallic plumage just behind the eye. This was symmetrical on both sides (above). Not seen this before. Any opinions on this valued. “The bird seem to make sure I had my fill of images and gave many different postures showing... Read More