• 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 Pied Hornbill in courtship feeding?

11 Feb 2009   in Courtship-Mating No Comments »
Contributed by Prof Cheong Loong Fah
Oriental Pied Hornbill in courtship feeding? Prof Cheong Loong Fah photographed a pair of Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) at Tan Teo Seng’s fruit farm in Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia showing a pair, possibly in the act of courtship feeding. “Based on the plumage and the frayed tail feathers, the bird above appears to be an adult female. The one below (in flight) is an adult male, based on plumage and the larger casque” says R Subaraj, our bird specialist. It is possible that the birds are... Read More

Bathing birdies

10 Feb 2009   in Feathers-maintenance No Comments »
Contributed by Marcus Ng
Bathing birdies “Like dirty humans, birds enjoy a regular bath. Baths may help a bird stay cool on a hot day, or flush parasites and debris from its plumage. In the forest, shallow pools that form close to larger water bodies such as reservoirs or streams seem to be favoured spots that draw various species for a daily dip. “I spotted a black-backed kingfisher (Cyex erithacus erithacus) along a boardwalk trail recently and returned the next day with a couple of other birders to... Read More

Crimson Sunbird taking nectar from snakeweed

09 Feb 2009   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by BK Lim
Crimson Sunbird taking nectar from snakeweed BK Lim’s image of a Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) taking nectar from a snakeweed (Stachytarpheta mutabilis) was taken in Penang Hill, Malaysia in January 2009. This attractive herb comes from Tropical America, a close relative to the common snakeweed (S. indica), also introduced from the same region but now a common weed of the wayside. The plant is easily propagated by seeds and a bed will provide flowers throughout the year. It needs full sun... Read More

Of “toky” calls and Coppersmith Barbets

09 Feb 2009   in Barbet-To'can-H'guide, Vocalisation 1 Comment »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Of "toky" calls and Coppersmith Barbets Been down quaint alleyways and watched tradesmen of sorts busy fashioning wares with their tampering tools skilfully? Hear the rhythmic sounds of, ‘tok tok tok’ as the tinsmiths/coppersmiths’ hammers kissed their wares sorely hard? That is precisely the loud and monotonous calls a Coppersmith Barbet (Megalaima haemacephala) would sound like from a distance to give itself away. Otherwise, the 17cm bird would be in obscurity when perched under tree canopy. For a... Read More

Yellow-vented Bulbul swallows figs

08 Feb 2009   in Feeding-plants 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman & Mark Chua
Yellow-vented Bulbul swallows figs Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman has managed to photograph a Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) in the act of eating a Benjamin fig or waringin (Ficus benjamina) (above). The images clearly shows the bird swallowing the fig whole. Mark Chua’s image (left) shows the bulbul swallowing a frg from the bodh tree (F. religiosa). An earlier post showed that birds either swallow the figs whole, bite off pieces or mash up the figs before swallowing. The method of eating... Read More

Peregrine Falcon mobs Western Marsh Harrier

07 Feb 2009   in Interspecific, Raptors 4 Comments »
Contributed by Subaraj Rajathurai & Benjamin Lee
Peregrine Falcon mobs Western Marsh Harrier “On the 2nd day of the Lunar New Year, January 27th, a small group of us went birding at the reclamation area, at Changi. Besides the two of us, there was Martin Daniel, my wife Shamla and my two sons, Serin and Saker. “There were lots of birds about and over 50 species were recorded during the three and a half hours that we spent out there. Highlights for the morning included 8 species of raptors (including 3 species of harriers), a male Common Stonechat... Read More

Urban encounter: White-rumped Shama

07 Feb 2009   in Species 3 Comments »
Contributed by Sun Chong Hong, R Subaraj & Huang JH
Urban encounter: White-rumped Shama Sun Chong Hong sent in this report: “I was driving my car straight into a parking lot in my condo near Lower Peirce Reservoir on 2 Nov 2008 in the evening, when I saw a bird hopping like a magpie robin in front of my windscreen at the grass patch. The bird briefly disappeared from sight, being blocked by the front part of my car. I decided not to get down from the car as it may startle the bird into flight. I wound down the door windscreen and folded the external rear... Read More

Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher and Bat Hawk sightings

06 Feb 2009   in Kingfishers, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Marcus Ng
Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher and Bat Hawk sightings On 4th February 2009, at 8:53 am Marcus Ng a.k.a. budak sighted an Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher (Cyex erithacus erithacus) at the MacRitchie Reservoir area (above). “This bird only turns up after 6pm to fish. A surprise when it got darker (7.30 pm) was a *Bat Hawk (Macheiramphus alcinus) (pale throat area and steady flight with slow wing beats, unlike the swooping pattern of nightjars) that made repeated forays over the reservoir.” Marcus is one of the four who sighted the... Read More

Sighting of Bat Hawk in Singapore

06 Feb 2009   in Raptors 1 Comment »
Contributed by Tan Gim Cheong & Marcus Ng
Sighting of Bat Hawk in Singapore Species: Bat Hawk (Macheiramphus alcinus) Date: 03 Feb 2009
Time: 1935 hour Location: Central Catchment Nature Reserves
 Weather: Partly Cloudy

 Observers: Tan Gim Cheong, Danny Lau, Con Foley, Marcus Ng.

 “The sun had already set and a Large-tailed Nightjar was “chonking” away but we could still see a bit as it was still twilight. I was the last in the group as we were walking and I noticed, some distance away on my left, a relatively large bird flying... Read More

Toucan sighting

05 Feb 2009   in Exotics No Comments »
Contributed by Michelle Ooi Siew May
Toucan sighting “On the morning of 20th Jan 09, Michelle Ooi Siew May spotted a Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco) perched on the anntena of her neighbour house at Seletar Hills. The bird was spotted at 7.45am while Michelle was on her way out to work. “Ramphastids are species of birds belonging to the order Piciformes similar to woodpeckers and barbets. They are found on the South American continent and are mainly omnivores, feeding on fruits and other animals mainly bird eggs, chicks and... Read More