• 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,...

Pink-necked Green Pigeon eating seeds of yellow simpoh

09 Oct 2008   in Feeding-plants 5 Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee
Pink-necked Green Pigeon eating seeds of yellow simpoh The above image shows a male Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans) eating a seed of the yellow simpoh (Dillenia suffruticosa). Not only does this pigeon eats the seeds, many others birds also seek them out. The flowers are yellow and large (below left). Once pollinated, the petals are shed and the persistent green sepals fold inwards to enclose the developing fruit. At this stage these fruiting “buds” are often mistaken for flower buds. The image of the fruit... Read More

Orange-bellied Leafbird and bottle-brush trees

08 Oct 2008   in Feeding-plants, Plants No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Eric Tan
Orange-bellied Leafbird and bottle-brush trees The Orange-bellied Leafbird (Chloropsis hardwickii), a resident of the montane forests of Peninsular Malaysia, is always present whenever the bottlebrush trees (Callistemon spp.) are in flowers. This is an attractive green bird with yellow-orange belly. The male (above) has a black mask and black throat, not th female (left). The bird visits a wide range of flowering plants, including exotics, to collect nectar. It has a long tongue that extrudes beyond the tip of the bill,... Read More

Black-naped Terns and projectile vomiting: Published!

Black-naped Terns and projectile vomiting: Published! In April 2008, bird photographers documented Black-naped Terns mobbing a Grey Heron, using their secret weapon, projectile vomiting. The accounts were posted here: 1 and 2. The photographers Roger Deng and Lee Tiah Khee, have now joined up with an armchair birder to publish a scientific paper of the observation in Nature in Singapore. Get a PDF copy of the paper (#23) HERE and read the fully illustrated account. Again and again, bird photographers are contributing to the... Read More

Bee-eater catching fish in lake?

06 Oct 2008   in Feeding strategy No Comments »
Contributed by Lee Tiah Khee
Bee-eater catching fish in lake? Lee Tiah Khee managed to photograph a Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus) diving into the water of the Symphony Lake at the Singapore Botanic Gardens on 18th August 2008. He spent time observing the birds and noticed that the birds flew to a perch in a nearby tree immediately after the dive. There, they bashed their catch against the branch before swallowing. What exactly they caught, Tiah Khee was not able to say. His guess is that they may be some insects. Maybe... Read More

Blue-throated Bee-eaters and dragonflies

04 Oct 2008   in Bee-eaters, Feathers-maintenance, Feeding chicks, Feeding strategy, Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Lee Tiah Khee, Dr Jonathan Cheah Weng Kwong, James Wong & Joseph Yao
Blue-throated Bee-eaters and dragonflies Blue-throated Bee-eaters (Merops viridis) catch dragonflies on the wing (above), with the latter twisting and turning in the air when chased and the former trying very hard to manoeuvre likewise. The chase sometimes looks like a dogfight between two warring fighter planes – one large and the other small. Frequently the dragonfly escapes. After all, dragonflies usually also hunt on the wing and have the skills to do so. The dragonfly is usually caught at the thorax, where... Read More

Chestnut-bellied Malkoha feeding chick a lizard

03 Oct 2008   in Feeding chicks, Feeding-vertebrates 2 Comments »
Contributed by Jimmy Tan
Chestnut-bellied Malkoha feeding chick a lizard Photographers located a pair of Chestnut-bellied Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus sumatranus) nesting in the Mandai Orchid Garden in August 2008. Jimmy Tan a.k.a. skylark was among the many that were there to document the event. The nest was a simple platform of loosely placed twigs built at the fork of a tree. The chick in the nest was already well developed and the adult was flying in regularly feeding it. The food brought included a Sumatran flying dargon (Draco sumantranus)... Read More

I and the Bird #85

02 Oct 2008   in Reports No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
 I and the Bird #85 Good news! After five days of “technical glitch” the site is back in business. Thanks to Jac. BESG was supposed to host the carnival, I and the Bird #85 on this day but Mike Bergin of 10000 Birds came to the rescue. Thanks Mike! Check out the carnival at this... Read More

Little Grebe: Piggybacking chicks

28 Sep 2008   in Feeding chicks 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dr Jonathan Cheah Weng Kwong
Little Grebe: Piggybacking chicks Photographers like to show images of Little Grebes (Tachybaptus ruficollis) carrying their chicks on their back. Indeed these images attract the most attention, as seen in the one above by Dr Jonathan Cheah Weng Kwong. Most grebe species carry their chicks in a pocket formed between the wing and the dorsal feathers. This may be seen when the birds are on the nest, with the adult feeding the chicks when they are snug inside. When the adult is swimming, the chicks may be... Read More

Yellow-vented Bulbul: Another nesting tragedy

27 Sep 2008   in Nesting-failed No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Yellow-vented Bulbul: Another nesting tragedy For the last one month and more, I have been keeping an eye on a nesting pair of Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) in my small belimbing tree (Averrhoa belimbi). The birds took about a week to build their simple nest, tucked between the bases of the compound leaves near the top of one of the many leading shoots. The nest was not obvious and was just above eye-level. It looked just like a mass of dead leaves stuck on to the leaf bases (above left). Whenever I walked... Read More

Oriental Pratincole: Adult and juvenile

26 Sep 2008   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Nelson Khor
Oriental Pratincole: Adult and juvenile In June 2008 Nelson Khor posted images of the adult Oriental Pratincole (Glareola maldivarum) in breeding plumage and a juvenile, and commented that it: “Is common in Penang and Kedah in Malaysia, once they arrive, immediately they start nesting, when the juvenile are grown, they will start to move on and back to their home…” The image of the juvenile above shows it stretching its right foot and wing at the same time. This appears to be a favourite comfort behaviour... Read More