• 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,...

Common Kingfisher diving for fish

08 Dec 2007   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-vertebrates, Kingfishers 5 Comments »
Contributed by Lee Tiah Khee
Common Kingfisher diving for fish We associate kingfishers with fish, although these birds feed on a wide range of foods. In fishing, the bird sits on a perch overlooking an open expanse of water and patiently waits for a suitable fish to appear. The bird then dives directly into the water, plunging in to catch the fish. Sometimes it hovers over the water before plunge-diving into it. The fish is caught in its bill, sometimes the upper mandible pierces into it. The fish is then brought back to the perch to... Read More

Little Heron chick: 8. Feather development

07 Dec 2007   in Feathers-maintenance, Heron-Egret-Bittern, Rescue No Comments »
Contributed by YC
Little Heron chick: 8. Feather development The Little Heron (Butorides striatus) chick rescued from the Bukit Timah campus and kept in captivity for about a month, allowed for me to observe feather development. The literature says that at hatching the chick is naked and blind. So the image of the rescued chick (left), taken on 3rd November, was at least a week old, if not more. It was covered with feathers. On closer examination, the soft down feathers known as natal downs, that develop at the time of hatching, were... Read More

Nesting of Little Heron

06 Dec 2007   in Heron-Egret-Bittern, Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Mark Chua
Nesting of Little Heron Mark Chua came across the nest of the Little Heron (Butorides striatus) in July 2006, built about 10 metres up in a tree. There were actually three nests around, of which only one had two chicks in it. An adult bird was perching nearby, keeping an eye on the nest and chasing away birds that came too close. In due course the other adult returned with food to feed the growing chicks. The Little Heron is a common resident that is found around muddy coasts, mangroves, swamps, in... Read More

Asian Koel swallowing palm fruit

05 Dec 2007   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Kevin Lam
Asian Koel swallowing palm fruit An earlier post reported the Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) swallowing the fruits of the Alexandra Palm (Archontophoenix alexandrae), to subsequently regurgitate the seeds. Now, Kevin Lam of Nature Spies has managed to document the stages of the bird swallowing the palm fruit (left). “By a stroke of luck I managed to capture this series of a female Asian Koel swallowing a large Alexandra Palm fruit! Actually, I could have been luckier and gotten group shots. I was... Read More

Little Heron chick: 7. Teaching it to “hunt”

03 Dec 2007   in Feeding chicks, Heron-Egret-Bittern, Rescue 1 Comment »
Contributed by YC
Little Heron chick: 7. Teaching it to “hunt” The Little Heron (Butorides striatus) has grown after 17 days of care and feeding. It is now able to feed on live guppies, mollies and goldfishes like an expert, manipulating them so that the head is swallowed first (left). However, the feeding on live fishes placed inside a dish in the safety of a cage is far from the conditions that it would be exposed to when released. I was reminded of this by Victor Lee when he wrote: “…try getting a larger body of water, i.e. a... Read More

Drongo taking insects on the wing

02 Dec 2007   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-invertebrates 3 Comments »
Contributed by Calvin Chang
Drongo taking insects on the wing On 13th November 2007, Kevin Lam of Nature Spies alerted me to the excellent images posted by Calvin Chang in ClubSnap. Through the good office of Kevin, I got in contact with Calvin who graciously gave me permission to post his images in Multiply. It was evening at the summit of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and it had just stopped drizzling when Calvin Chang aka De’Switch was witness to a termite hatch. A hatch is when the reproductive termites emerge from their... Read More

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo following woodpeckers

01 Dec 2007   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Gloria Seow, Haniman Boniran, KF Yap & Susan Wong
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo following woodpeckers Gloria Seow was walking along Rock Path at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve on the morning of 11th November 2007 when she spotted two Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradisus). What attracted Gloria to the drongos was that they were behaving like woodpeckers and nuthatches – clinging onto a vertical trunk of a dipterocarp tree and nibbling at what she thought was greenish white growth on the trunk’s surface (below). “Both drongos used their tail as an... Read More

Flocking of Long-tailed Broadbill

30 Nov 2007   in Feeding strategy, Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Pamela Lim
Flocking of Long-tailed Broadbill During the last weekend of November 2007 at Peninsular Malaysia’s Fraser’s Hill, Pamela Lim was witness to an exciting phenomenon involving the flocking of “hundreds” of Long-tailed Broadbills (Psarisomus dalhousiae). The video posted in You Tube by Tee Lian Huat mentions about 60 birds in one tree. When queried, Pamela admitted that “the hundreds were my description in excitement as I saw flock upon flock flying up from the depths to one tree. The... Read More

Little Heron chick: 6. Reaction to threat

28 Nov 2007   in Heron-Egret-Bittern, Rescue 1 Comment »
Contributed by YC
Little Heron chick: 6. Reaction to threat The Little Heron (Butorides striatus) chick rescued from the Bukit Timah campus, responded to handling by lunging at the perceived threat. The sudden lunge with its large and pointed bill, together with the loud keek-keek-keek was enough to intimidate any predator (left). And for some time I was intimidated. The few times it’s bill hit bull’s eye caused only a harmless poke. As the chick grew older, it lunged with an even larger gape (below). The sudden... Read More

A feast of flowers: Bulbuls and starfruit

26 Nov 2007   in Feeding-plants, Plants 1 Comment »
Contributed by YC
A feast of flowers: Bulbuls and starfruit On the evening of 30th October 2007, I was alerted to the call of a Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) that regularly visit my garden. It continuously made a high pitch wit-ti-waet. Normally, they would perch on the fronds of my two tall ceram palms (Rhopaloblaste ceramica). This time the call came from another location. It was from my starfruit tree (Averrhoa carambola ) (above). Trying hard to locate it, I went under the tree and imitated the call until I located... Read More