• 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,...

Nesting saga of Peaceful Doves: Part 4 of 6

07 Dec 2008   in Nesting, Pigeon-Dove No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Nesting saga of Peaceful Doves: Part 4 of 6 The black wizard number ‘13’ seems to hold truth to those who believe it to be an unlucky number. They would attest the day of reckoning to be of ‘bad luck.’ Thunder roared the night before, followed by another long night rainfall. Finally rains abated in the wee hours of the morning. A casually inspection through the Fieldscope at the nesting site was what I normally did from the balcony bedroom, before breakfast. I could not comprehend what I saw and looked harder... Read More

Promiscuity in birds

06 Dec 2008   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by YC
Promiscuity in birds It has been estimated that about 90% of all birds are socially monogamous. This is an arrangement in which a male and a female come together to rear their offspring. And since time immemorial, people have believed that such pairs show sexual fidelity. But are monogamous birds actually faithful to their partners? Birders have always noticed that many male birds keep watch over their female partners during the several days around egg-laying time. And ornithologists have... Read More

Black-capped Kingfisher

05 Dec 2008   in Kingfishers No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Black-capped Kingfisher The Black-capped Kingfisher (Halcyon pileata) was among a number of winter visitors sighted in October 2008 at the Chinese and Japanese Gardens in Jurong, Singapore. As KC Tsang noted, it can be easily located by following the direction the photographers’ long lenses are pointing. This is an uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. The records from 1985-2006 shows that the earliest arrival is 28th September and last being 18th May. The month of March sees the most... Read More

Nesting saga of Peaceful Doves: Part 3 of 6

05 Dec 2008   in Nesting, Pigeon-Dove No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Nesting saga of Peaceful Doves: Part 3 of 6 The daily transformation of Lucky Dicky and Little Jo evolving in stages was simply remarkable through the Fieldscope, in providing magnificent and magnifying views to captivate an observer’s eye, with anatomical details that painted a thousand words. Here are 12 presentation images of Lucky Dicky and Little Jo. 10th day: Loss of straggly white hairs on the crown noted. Upper coverts revealed darker wavering black patterns on brown plumages. The rest of Lucky Dicky’s... Read More

Portrait of a bird: Red-crowned Barbet

04 Dec 2008   in Barbet-To'can-H'guide No Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee, Chan Yoke Meng & YC.
Portrait of a bird: Red-crowned Barbet Like most barbets, the Red-crowned Barbet (Megalaima rafflesii) is brightly coloured (left top). It has a green body and a striking head colouration of blue, black, yellow and red. The juvenile tends to be duller, with a less defined head pattern, becoming brighter with maturity. The bill is characteristically stout and pointed with long rictal bristles that project from the base of the bill (left bottom). The neck is characteristically short and their feet are strong and... Read More

An Oriental Scops Owl came for a visit

04 Dec 2008   in Owls 1 Comment »
Contributed by Melissa Ong
An Oriental Scops Owl came for a visit Melissa Ong was ecstatic when she learnt that her mom had a close encounter with an owl. It was 8.30am on Sunday 30th November 2008 when her mom called her and whispered, “There’s an owl in my bouganvillea!” Her mom was then watering her plants and felt there was something small and dark staring at her. The owl was a rare Oriental Scops Owl (Otus sunia), roosting in the bougainvillea plant. What is unusual is that her garden is the corridor fronting her... Read More

Nesting saga of Peaceful Doves: Part 2 of 6

03 Dec 2008   in Nesting, Parrots, Pigeon-Dove, Raptors, Roosting 1 Comment »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Nesting saga of Peaceful Doves: Part 2 of 6 A walk through the driveway, passed the nesting site, I resisted looking at the source of a soft ‘coo’ coming from my right direction. It was late afternoon. I made a bee-line for my top garden balcony which hangs about 30 feet from the Christmas tree. By looking through gaps of the mango fruit tree, it provided near eye level views of the nesting site. A quick look into my binoculars confirmed a nesting parent dove with a partially hidden chick, half obscured by the... Read More

Peregrine Falcon feasting on a White-vented Myna

02 Dec 2008   in Feeding-vertebrates, Heron-Egret-Bittern, Migration-Migrants, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by David Tan
Peregrine Falcon feasting on a White-vented Myna David Tan documented a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) consuming a White-vented Myna (Acridotheres grandis) on the morning of 24th November 2008 at Singapore’s Japanese Gardens. He missed seeing the falcon catching the myna but saw it tear at the myna’s wing feathers to prepare it for a leisurely feast. The feast started at 9.45am and the raptor was still dealing with its prey at 11.25am, the lower part of the myna’s body was then still not eaten. A number of... Read More

Oriental Honey-buzzard: Wear and tear of feathers

01 Dec 2008   in Feathers-maintenance No Comments »
Contributed by Lee Tiah Khee & Wang Luan Keng
Oriental Honey-buzzard: Wear and tear of feathers When Lee Tiah Khee was at Singapore’s Japanese Garden in Jurong around noon one day in October 2008, three Oriental Honey-buzzards (Pernis ptilorhyncus) flew to a tree above him. One image in particular showed newly emerged wing/tail feathers as well as a few worn out through were and tear. The image was sent to field ornithologist Wang Luan Keng who sent in her analysis: “Wing moult: Seems like this bird has arrested its primary moult before it migrated to Singapore.... Read More

Nesting saga of Peaceful Dove: Part 1 of 6

01 Dec 2008   in Nesting, Pigeon-Dove No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Nesting saga of Peaceful Dove: Part 1 of 6 Building a bird’s nest within a flowerpot of bird’s nest fern, above a giant epiphytic Bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus), on an open air, skylight Christmas tree? (left top) Yes, that was precisely what a young pair of trendy Peaceful Doves (Geopelia striata) was observed to be doing- building ‘a nest within a nest above a nest’. Join me to read and visit Avian writer’s compact home garden which my endearing neighbour calls, ‘my jungle’ and enjoy a 6 part... Read More