• 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,...

Broadbills of the Thai-Malay Peninsula

03 Jul 2008   in Species 4 Comments »
Contributed by Willis, Dr Eric Tan & Mark Chua
Broadbills of the Thai-Malay Peninsula Broadbills make up a small group of tropical birds of the family Eurylamidae. There are a total of 15 species, mostly brightly coloured. Eleven species are from Southeast Asia while the remaining four are African species. The Thai-Malay Peninsula claims seven species. Singapore used to have five species: Black-and-red (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos) (above left), Black-and-yellow (Eurylaimus ochromalus) (above right), Banded (Eurylaimus javanicus) (below left), Dusky... Read More

Creeping with “Christ” bird

02 Jul 2008   in Morphology-Develop., Species No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Creeping with “Christ” bird “The religious text – Bible, mentions a Messiah or Christ that ‘walked on water.’ But that was more than two thousand years ago if one chooses the religious faith of Christianity to believe. “Delving into the avian world, I discovered that a family of birds- Jacanas Jacanidae or lotus birds/lily-trotters commonly known by Australians, are also called Christ birds – for they seemingly seen to be walking on water from afar. “With a worldwide total of only... Read More

Brown-capped Woodpecker nesting

01 Jul 2008   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Mike Tan
Brown-capped Woodpecker nesting Mike Tan a.k.a. woof documented the nesting of the Brown-capped Woodpecker, also known as Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker (Dendrocopos moluccensis) in May 2008. A common resident in Malaysia and Singapore, the bird excavates a 15-30 cm deep tunnel in a dead or rotting tree branch or trunk, leaving a small entrance of about 4 cm wide. Both adults indulge in the excavation. Mike noticed the parent appearing at the entrance of the nest on 16th May 2008 (left). After several days when... Read More

Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker eating figs

30 Jun 2008   in Feeding-plants 14 Comments »
Contributed by Jimmy Tan
Jimmy Tan a.k.a. skylark was at the Panti Forest Reserve in Johor, Malaysia recently and caught sight of an adult male Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker (Prionochilus thoracicus) eating a fig. He posted his images in NaturePixels and is sharing the above with us all. Joseph Lai and Angie Ng identified the fig as brown-scurfy fig (Ficus consociata). Figs are a favourite food with birds. The best known fig tree in Singapore is the waringin (Ficus benjamina) at the summit of... Read More

Changeable Hawk Eagle sighted at Southern Ridge

29 Jun 2008   in Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Adeline Chia
Changeable Hawk Eagle sighted at Southern Ridge Adeline Chia was taking the Southern Ridge walk in Singapore one day in June 2008 with a few friends… “We were out for the Southern Ridges walk. We started from Habourfront, and was going towards the Henderson waves bridge where we stopped to see the open view of HDB estate before the bridge. Someone then pointed out a large black raptor to us, and we say that it was indeed very dark, and was perching on a large branch of a tree a distance away feeding on what I was... Read More

Pheasant galore along the road to Zhangjiajie, China

28 Jun 2008   in Illegal-Irresponsible 1 Comment »
Contributed by Roger Moo
Pheasant galore along the road to Zhangjiajie, China Roger Moo a.k.a. cactus400D was in China around April 2008 when he visited Zhangjiajie in the province of Hunan, a popular tourist destination. Along the way, he stopped at a place called ‘Kingdom Village (Town of Fu Rong) – Wang Village’ and documented his most interesting encounter (above). What he saw was some of the most beautiful local birds, pheasants mainly. But they were not in their natural habitat. Rather, they were prominently displayed in the... Read More

Anatomy of a nest: Yellow-vented Bulbul II

27 Jun 2008   in Nests No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Anatomy of a nest: Yellow-vented Bulbul II Tan Teo Seng brought me a nest of the Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) from his fruit farm in Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia (left). The chicks had just fledged and he collected the nest that was built attached to the slender stems of his hibiscus bush (Hibsicus rosa-sinensis). The plant is less than a metre tall but very bushy, such that the birds built the nest near to the ground. The nest is a typical cup-shaped structure that the Yellow-vented Bulbul builds: 11... Read More

Blue-winged Minla catching a moth

26 Jun 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates 1 Comment »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
Blue-winged Minla catching a moth In May 2008 Adrian Lim a.k.a. wmw998 photographed a Blue-winged Minla (Minla cyanouroptera) catching and eating a moth in the highland of Peninsular Malaysia. He wrote that these minlas “behave very much like Mountain Fulvettas in their eating habit, but they move faster and most of the time, are at a higher level. They are also seen more often in the open than the Fulvettas. These shots were taken early in the morning.” The bird held the moth in its foot (top) and... Read More

Bee-eaters and comfort behaviour

25 Jun 2008   in Comfort behaviour, Feathers-maintenance No Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee, YC & Dr WK Cheah
Bee-eaters and comfort behaviour Bee-eaters are known to spend up to 10% of daylight hours in comfort behaviour of some kind or other (above). These are mainly aimed at keeping their plumage in top condition. During rest, these birds can usually be seen going through some of their stretching activities. A common posture is the raising of both forewings above the back with the wrists nearly touching (below left). The bird then stretches one wing at a time – downwards and backwards (above right). This... Read More

Spectacled Spiderhunter collecting nectar

24 Jun 2008   in Feeding-plants 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman
Spectacled Spiderhunter collecting nectar Spidethunters, as the name implies, is supposed to feed on spiders. However, there has been “no record of web-robbing” (Wells, 2007) as its animal diet is not known. Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman managed to photograph a Spectacled Spiderhunter (Arachnothera flavigaster) hovering in front of a bunch of banana flowers collecting nectar from the flowers. As Dr Redzian writes, “This picture describes very well why Malays call it ‘Kelicap Jantung’ meaning bird that feeds... Read More