• 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,...

Brahminy Kite eating on the wing

20 Mar 2008   in Feeding strategy No Comments »
Contributed by Myron Tay
Brahminy Kite eating on the wing Myron Tay was at Changi recently when he noticed a couple of Brahminy Kites (Haliastur indus) flying above (above left). On zooming in with his camers, he noticed one of the kites had a prey firmly clutched in its talons. What interested Myron was that the bird was taking bites off the prey from time to time (above right). The food of the Brahminy Kite includes fish, crustaceans, amphibians, reptiles, birds, small mammals and even insects. According to Ferguson-Lees &... Read More

Nests of Greater and Lesser Racquet-tailed Drongos

19 Mar 2008   in Nests No Comments »
Contributed by Morten Strange & YC
Nests of Greater and Lesser Racquet-tailed Drongos Drongo nests are fragile-looking structures built around a fork of a branch of a tree. It is a shallow cup made up of plant materials that can include pliable stems that include grass and creepers, fibres, tendrils, leaf skeletons Wells (2007) has reported on the nests of a few species. The nest of one Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) was camouflaged on the outside with lichens and bryophytes and felted with cobwebs. Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradisus) is... Read More

Encountering a raptor in the heartland

18 Mar 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates, Raptors 1 Comment »
Contributed by Ms Koh & R Subaraj
Encountering a raptor in the heartland Ms Koh had an exciting encounter with a large raptor in a highrise housing area in Jurong West in March 2008: “I was walking out to the bus stop (about 10am) from my flat in Jurong West when suddenly a bird with a large wing span (at least one metre in total) swooped past me. I saw a magnificent brown eagle perched up the tree, in the rain. “I was so excited that I ran back home three blocks away, got my camera, ran back, and took… [a] photo… (from ground... Read More

Javan Myna chick: 3. Bathing

17 Mar 2008   in Feathers-maintenance, Rescue 3 Comments »
Contributed by YC & Jeremy Lee
Javan Myna chick: 3. Bathing Today (3rd March), the rescued Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) chick has been under care for 11 days (see 1, 2). The feathers are more than a bit dirty, stained with food flicked from the bill and my failure to always place food properly into the gape. Inside the box where it was kept, it apparently did not continue to preen itself. So I placed it on a dish of water hoping it would take a bath (below). This was suggested by Jeremy Lee, who wrote earlier:... Read More

Another heron entangled by a discarded fishing line

16 Mar 2008   in Heron-Egret-Bittern, Illegal-Irresponsible 4 Comments »
Contributed by Choo Teik Ju
Another heron entangled by a discarded fishing line On 10th March 2008, Choo Teik Ju was disturbed to find a dead heron dangling from the branch of a tree in the Marsh Garden at West Coast Park (left). One of its wings was entangled by a discarded fishing line, no doubt left by an irresponsible amateur angler. Teik Ju visits the park almost every weekend to jog and bird watch. Invariably he found the areas around the Marsh Garden littered with discarded fishing lines. Many were dangling from the branches of trees and these... Read More

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