• 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,...

Yellow-vented Bulbul eating Tabernaemontana corymbosa fruits

29 Jul 2008   in Feeding-plants 3 Comments »
Contributed by Joseph Lai
Yellow-vented Bulbul eating Tabernaemontana corymbosa fruits Joseph Lai came across a Tabernaemontana corymbosa tree at the end of Liane Road along the Garden Jungle in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. “It was fascinating observing how the Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) hovered in the air like a hummingbird to snatch a seed or two from below the down-turned opening of the fruit. I also saw the less tedious way it fed – by positioning itself on the nearest twig to peck at the seeds.” All images by Joseph... Read More

Red-bearded Bee-eater: Black inner feathers?

28 Jul 2008   in Morphology-Develop. 7 Comments »
Contributed by Roger Moo
Red-bearded Bee-eater: Black inner feathers? . . . . . . . . . . . . . Most birders are familiar with the green plumage of the Red-bearded Bee-eater (Nyctyornis amictus) – and of course the distinctive shaggy red beard characteristic of the species. But how many are aware that hidden under the external green feathers are black feathers? Roger Moo a.k.a. cactus400D photographed a Red-bearded Bee-eater when it was fluffing its plumage and noticed that the inner feathers are black. He wonders: “We all thought... Read More

Plain-pouched Hornbill: Migration or flocking?

27 Jul 2008   in Hornbills, Migration-Migrants, Roosting 2 Comments »
Contributed by Ingo Waschkies
Plain-pouched Hornbill: Migration or flocking? Ingo Waschkies was in Belum-Temenggor, Malaysia recently and documented the annual gathering of the Plain-pouched Hornbill (Rhyticeros subruficollis) (above). The fig trees around Tasek Temenggor, an artificial lake created by the damming of the Perak River were in fruits. Large flocks of the hornbill arrived via a few flight corridors to feast on the figs. Ingo reported that there were around two to three thousand birds flying over the lake: “…Some spectacular groups... Read More

Nesting of Spotted Dove

26 Jul 2008   in Nesting, Pigeon-Dove 5 Comments »
Contributed by Opel Mok
Nesting of Spotted Dove Opel Mok directed me to his images of a pair of Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis) that found his pot of mint plant a suitable place to build their nest (above). The pair checked out his garden on 7th July 2008, built a simple nest made up of a platform of twigs and the female went on to lay a white egg two days later. A second egg was laid another two days later and on 17th July the two eggs were still in the nest (below). From past observations on Pink-necked Green... Read More

Oriental Magpie Robin taking cockroach

25 Jul 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman
Oriental Magpie Robin taking cockroach Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman documented an Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) catching an American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) and eating it. Although know as American cockroach, the insect originated from tropical Africa. It is now one of the most common domestic pest in urban areas. The bird forages on the ground catching arthropods mainly. These include cockroaches, mole crickets and termites. Geckos have also been reported to be taken by this... Read More

A pair of munia’s nests: A misadventure

24 Jul 2008   in Feeding chicks, Nesting-failed No Comments »
Contributed by YC
A pair of munia's nests: A misadventure Tan Teo Seng brought me what looked like a larger than usual munia’s nest (1, 2) on 7th July 2008. It had two entrances, one above, the other below. It was inadvertently cut off when his worker did some heavy pruning of his Duranta erecta shrub in his garden in Johor, Malaysia. The structure was actually two nests, built side by side. The upper was 13 x 19 cm with an opening diameter of 3.5 cm; the lower 12 x 16 cm with a 3 cm opening. Both were ovals, the openings... Read More

Purple Swamphen eating mollusc

23 Jul 2008   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) is a colourful large bird common in freshwater wetlands of Singapore and Malaysia. The bird is predominantly vegetarian, eating a wide range of water plants: water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), water spangle (Salvinia molesta), water lily (Nymphaea), lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) and cyperus sedge (Cyperus), among others. It is an opportunistic feeder and will also take fish, frogs, lizards, snakes, birds, molluscs, leeches, small... Read More

Details of the Baya Weaver’s nest

22 Jul 2008   in Nests No Comments »
Contributed by YC
Details of the Baya Weaver’s nest Towards the end of June 2008, Tan Teo Seng brought me two old and used nests of the Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus). I was interested in making a detailed study of these nests (left), namely the fibres and strips of leaves used and how these materials were put together. Madoc (1956) reported a total of 3,437 fine strands of grass, varying in length from 2.5 to 60 cm were used in a nest. And this was only the so-called “male” nest – the partially completed nest... Read More

Rocky life on the aquatic edge

21 Jul 2008   in Species No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Rocky life on the aquatic edge The first thing that struck me when birding in Australia some years ago was the numerous species of aquatic birds that could easily be observed at ease at their rivers, ponds, lakes, swamps, rock edges, wetlands and seaside. It is simply too complex to describe the large family order of Gruiformes. Instead, let us focus on just one of the sub-family- Rallidae. This cosmopolitan sub order comprises of rails, gallinules (moorhens, swamphens) and coots, ranging from... Read More

Black-tailed Godwit in mandibular clash

20 Jul 2008   in Feeding strategy, Waders No Comments »
Contributed by Allan Teo
Black-tailed Godwit in mandibular clash Allan Teo sent in an image of a pair of waders taken in India. Ong Tun Pin very kindly identified them to be non-breeding Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa). Allan thought the birds were fighting and he was right. They are usually peaceful, feeding as a flock. But as soon as food is limited, each bird vigorously defends its feeding territory. And when another moves in, there will always be a quarrel. In the image above, the two birds are engaged in a “mandibular... Read More