• 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,...

Gold-whiskered Barbet eating a cicada

15 Mar 2008   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-invertebrates 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dr Redzlan Abdul Rahman
Gold-whiskered Barbet eating a cicada The food of the Gold-whiskered Barbet (Megalaima chrysopogon) has been reported to be largely fruits like figs and berries (Short & Horne, 2002; Wells, 1999). The bird has also been reported to take insects like termites. Cicada as a food is not well known, that is, until now (above). On the evening of 5th March 2008, Dr Redzlan Abdul Rahman documented a Gold-whiskered Barbet catching a cicada. His neighbourhood in Raub, in the Peninsular Malaysian state of Pahang, is... Read More

Birds and window panes

14 Mar 2008   in Collision-Reflection No Comments »
Contributed by Eddie Chapman & Wang Luan Keng.
Birds and window panes Our earlier post on “An eagle called on the Director, SBG” had a comment by Morten Strange: “What is absolutely weird in this case is that the window broke, I cannot
 recall another case like this, the impact must have been tremendous! It is a
 wonder the bird didn’t get fatally injured,”

 Eddie Chapman, who runs Birding Scandinavia from Voss, Norway, has this to say on Morten’s comment: “I used to work in the glass industry many years ago.... Read More

Javan Myna chick: 2. Care and development

13 Mar 2008   in Morphology-Develop., Rescue 5 Comments »
Contributed by YC
Javan Myna chick: 2. Care and development The Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) that was passed on to me by Lin Yangchen on 21st February 2008 spent a quiet night in its cardboard box. It made soft chirping sounds when I opened the cover of the box the next morning. Initially widening its gape reluctantly, it did so without persuasion as it was hungry. It was fed mashed bread in water and pieces of banana. Small lumps needed to be directed into the gape before the chick swallowed them. Pieces of mashed fish were... Read More

Encounter with ‘White-faced’ Plover at Changi

12 Mar 2008   in Species, Waders 1 Comment »
Contributed by Subaraj Rajathurai
Encounter with 'White-faced' Plover at Changi “I received a tip-off on February 8th, 2008 from Martin Kennewell, that he had encountered a flock of the mysterious ‘White-faced’ Plovers at Changi that morning. The next morning, Martin Daniel and I set off for the site (with the help of my wife, Sham, who drove us to the end of the road). “The site was at the northern end of the large area of reclaimation at Changi. Here, on the coast, a sand-bar extends out in a semi-circle but does not re-connect... Read More

Black-naped Oriole catching a cicada

11 Mar 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Redzlan Abdul Rahman
Black-naped Oriole catching a cicada Dr Redzlan Abdul Rahman recently spotted a Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis) with a cicada in its bill perching on a branch of a tree by his house in Raub, Malaysia. He rushed into his house, grabbed his camera and proceeded to take a few shots shown on the left. The bird was busy manipulating the large and stocky insect that he thinks may be an emperor cicada (Pomponia imperatoria), considering its size. The mass singing by a large number of cicadas can often be heard... Read More

The Hornbills are nesting again at Changi

10 Mar 2008   in Hornbills, Nesting 2 Comments »
Contributed by Chan Yoke Meng & YC
The Hornbills are nesting again at Changi February is the beginning of the breeding season and at Changi the Oriental Pied Hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris) are busy prospecting potential nesting cavities again. This is exactly one year after two failed nesting in Changi. Chan Yoke Meng encountered a male hornbill picking fruits of the MacArthur Palm (Ptychosperma macarthurii) (above) to subsequently place them inside a tree cavity to induce the female to enter it. An earlier account shows a female hornbill... Read More

Nests of spiderhunters

09 Mar 2008   in Nests No Comments »
Contributed by Morten Strange & YC
Nests of spiderhunters Four species of spiderhunters are recorded for Singapore, of which Grey-breasted (Arachnothera affinis) and Spectacled (A. flavigaster) are now extinct. Thick-billed (A. crassirostris) and Yellow-eared (A. chrysogenys) are rare residents while Little (A. longirostra) is a common resident. The spiderhunters build their nests on the undersurface of large leaves such as banana, ginger and aroids. The trough-shaped nest is anchored to the leaf with the help of plant fibres and... Read More

Kingfisher catches skink

08 Mar 2008   in Feeding-vertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Subaraj Rajathurai
Kingfisher catches skink “On 25th February 2008, John & By Cobb, Shamla Subaraj and I were birdwatchinbg at Seletar Camp. We observed a Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris) dived down and landed on a road (left top). “On closer observation, we saw that the kingfisher had captured a Garden Supple Skink (Riopa bowringii) (left bottom). It must have been trying to cross the road when it was noticed and caught. The lizard was struggling in the bird’s bill and after a few... Read More

Eurasian Tree Sparrow feeding fledglings

07 Mar 2008   in Feeding chicks No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Redzlan Abdul Rahman
Eurasian Tree Sparrow feeding fledglings Where Dr Redzlan Abdul Rahman lives, in Raub, Pahang, Malaysia, the Eurasian Tree Sparrow ( Passer montanus) is one of the very common birds around. His 12 year old son, Muhammad Firdaus Redzlan, is so attracted to these sparrows that he regularly feeds them with rice grains. Is it a wonder then that these birds are always around their backyard? And this gave them the opportunity to document the adults feeding their fledglings. In the above images, the adult is shown on the... Read More

Albino Javan Myna accepted by others of the species

06 Mar 2008   in Morphology-Develop. 3 Comments »
Contributed by Subaraj Rajathurai
Albino Javan Myna accepted by others of the species “On January 13th, 2008, John McGeehin, Shamla Subaraj and I spotted an albino Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) at the main car park of Bukit Batok Nature Park. “The time was about 5.30 pm and the bird was walking about a grass patch, searching for food. I managed to take a few photos. It was then that I noticed a “normal” Javan Myna foraging close-by. We observed the duo for a while and noticed that they were probably a pair as they kept fairly close to... Read More