• 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,...

Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher: Fright moult?

08 Mar 2009   in Feathers-maintenance, Kingfishers 8 Comments »
Contributed by KN Pan, Tan Gim Cheong, Wang Luan Keng & Calvin Chang
Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher: Fright moult? The arrival of the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher (Cyex erithacus) to Singapore during February-March 2009 provided opportunities for birdwatchers to view and photographer to document this uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. It was KN Pan who first highlighted an Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher with a slightly bald patch on its head (left). Apparently some of its head feathers were absent, giving rise to speculation that it probably was attacked on the head. Subsequently to... Read More

Crested Kingfisher

07 Mar 2009   in Kingfishers No Comments »
Contributed by Mark Chua
Crested Kingfisher Mark Chua documented a Crested Kingfisher (Megaceryle lugubris) when he visited Corbett National Park in India recently (left). This attractive kingfisher is easily recognised from its shaggy crest when at rest. The upper body is barred black and white and has a white collar. Its typical habitat is small, fast-flowing, gravelly or rocky streams. It hovers (below right) but does not dive from such flight, unlike the Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis). . References: 1. Fry, C.H.... Read More

Forest birds

07 Mar 2009   in Kingfishers, Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Marcus Ng
Forest birds “The sub-adult Black-backed Kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca) that frequents one of the Central Reserves boardwalk trails isn’t the only bird of interest in the area (above left). A little further down, the trail forms a hairpin that encircles a streamlet which flows into the reservoir. There, another black-backed kingfisher is known to appear, but at later hours and only for a brief period. With another photographer, I saw it perching on a branch above the water and... Read More

Of nesting shift duties and Coppersmith Barbets (Part 3)

06 Mar 2009   in Barbet-To'can-H'guide, Nesting 1 Comment »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Of nesting shift duties and Coppersmith Barbets (Part 3) It is going to be a long day for Dayshift bird. Change of shift duties was observed to be carried out by the parenting pair only in the mornings. That means each parent bird is putting in a 24hour shift work! Any Avian Labour Laws? Dayshift bird would be seen taking in strides regularly by announcing its arrival to the awaiting Nightshift with subtle ‘tok-tok’ calls; in clockwork about precision time and perched 15 feet away. Two monitored calls showed arrival times... Read More

Western and Eastern Marsh-harriers in Singapore?

05 Mar 2009   in Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Tan Gim Cheong, Dr Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua, R Subaraj & KC Tsang
Western and Eastern Marsh-harriers in Singapore? The images taken at Changi Cove by Lim Kim Chuah in the October 2008 issue of Singapore Avifauna were originally identified as Western Marsh-harrier (Circus aeruginosu). The identity was subsequent amended to Eastern (C. spilonotus) after David Bakewell pointed out the error. In view of the above, Tan Gim Cheong made a detailed study and posted his disagreement with the identifications of the Western in BESG’s two posts. The first was posted in January 2009 on a bird seen... Read More

Antics of a bird trapper

04 Mar 2009   in Illegal-Irresponsible No Comments »
Contributed by Yap Kim Fatt
Antics of a bird trapper Yap Kim Fatt sent this piece: “I was looking out of my kitchen window yesterday (11.02.09) afternoon and saw this strange happening. A man, whose arms were heavily tatooed, walked to the grassy avenue between two blocks of Housing and Development Board apartments. He had with him a dove (?) chained to a wooden tray. He squatted on the grass, emptied the tray (I think of pelletised food), after that he proceeded to pick things up from among the short grass and placed them... Read More

Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker catching caterpillar

03 Mar 2009   in Feeding-invertebrates 4 Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker catching caterpillar Adrian Lim photographed a Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker (Prionochilus percussus) catching a caterpillar and commented: “This Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker normally eats tiny fruits, but I found it eating a little caterpillar.” This bird is a fruit-eater. Its diet includes nectar and pollen. It is possible that the bird was taking the caterpillar to feed its chicks. Image by Adrian Lim. This post is a cooperative effort between NaturePixels.org and BESG to bring the... Read More

Copper-throated Sunbird leaf-bathing

03 Mar 2009   in Feathers-maintenance, Sunbirds No Comments »
Contributed by Sandy Chian
Copper-throated Sunbird leaf-bathing Sandy Chian has similarly documented a male Copper-throated Sunbird (Leptocoma calcostetha) leaf-bathing at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in February 2009 – see earlier post HERE. Her image of the sunbird sitting on the wet leaf, fluffing his wing feathers with its slender tongue just sticking out of the tip of its bill is shown above. The image below shows the same bird with all his feathers damp from all the rubbing against the wet leaf about ready to fly off to... Read More

Antics of an Olive-backed Sunbird

02 Mar 2009   in Collision-Reflection, Sunbirds No Comments »
Contributed by Richard Hale
“I was up in Langkawi in January 2009 and in the hotel parking area one morning watched an Olive- backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) fly to the driver’s window of a parked car, look in and then transfer to the driver’s wing mirror alongside it. He clung to the base and admired himself. He then flew round to another car parked on the left next to it, and did exactly the same thing. He then moved on to three more cars all parked in the same row and again repeated... Read More

Nectar party at the saraca tree

02 Mar 2009   in Feeding-plants, Sunbirds No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang & G. Sreedharan
Nectar party at the saraca tree “It is the time of the year again, when the saraca tree (Saraca sp.) starts to bloom in earnest. Flower buds seem to sprout from everywhere, from main branches to the usual places at the end of branches. When the flowers starts to open, a faint aroma fills the air, maybe this is the signal to the birds to start to gather at the nectar party that the tree has to offer. “The party seems to start much later in the morning, when the sun warms up the tree, encouraging the... Read More