• 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,...

Sightings of Himalayan Griffon in Singapore

30 May 2008   in Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Sightings of Himalayan Griffon in Singapore “The Himalayan Griffon (Gyps himalayensis) is a proud and magnificent raptor that feeds on carrion. The image at left, reproduced from the late Dato Loke Wan Tho’s book, A Company of Birds, shows these raptors feasting on a cow’s carcass in their home territory in the Himalayas. Dato Loke was an early pioneer birder-photographer and Nature Society member. “The Griffon is a resident of Central Asia and the Himalayas. It is a high altitude bird, found mostly... Read More

Thailand’s Adopt-a-Raptor Programme

29 May 2008   in Raptors, Rescue No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua
Thailand’s Adopt-a-Raptor Programme Since January 2007, Thailand’s Kasetsart University Raptor Rehabilitation Centre, in partnership with the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand and the Thai Raptor Group, has launched an “Adopt a Raptor” programme. The scheme was started when a Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus) was found exhausted in south-east Thailand in early January 2007 and handed over to Dr Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua of Kasetsart University. Around the same time, four Himalayan Griffons (Gyps... Read More

Sudden increase in Singapore’s hornbill population

29 May 2008   in Hornbills, Nesting 19 Comments »
Contributed by YC
Sudden increase in Singapore's hornbill population In a talk to update the public on the Singapore Hornbill Project on 22nd May 2008, Marc Cremades, who initiated the project together with Prof Ng Soon Chye, announced that the population of the Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) in Singapore has seen a sudden explosion. These large and impressive birds have been slowly increasing in number over the last decade or so. When the project was initiated in 2006, the hornbill population was below 30 birds, with... Read More

Common Iora collecting spider silk for nest material

28 May 2008   in Nests No Comments »
Contributed by willis
Common Iora collecting spider silk for nest material Willis photographed this Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia) collecting spider silk for its nest (left). It can be a messy job as seen in the image but spider silk plays an important role in the makeup of small nests of many small birds. The silk helps bind up the nesting materials, making the nest a more sturdy structure. An earlier post on the Black-naped Monarch (Hypothymis azurea) nest shows whitish spider cocoon silk on the nest surface together with mosses and liverworts.... Read More

Noisy Miners harassing a Spotted Dove

28 May 2008   in Interspecific 6 Comments »
Contributed by Dr CH Lee
Noisy Miners harassing a Spotted Dove In April 2008, a group of Noisy Miners (Manorina melanocephala) was attacking a helpless Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis) in Centennial Park, Sydney while Dr CH Lee a.k.a. lchxian was trying to photograph a frogmouth. “The Noisy Miners were harassing the dove, flying over it and using their claws to grab the dove. I was not convinced at that point that the claws of Noisy Miners could do much harm.” The miners spread their tails as if in a war dance and surrounded... Read More

Yellow-bellied Prinia

27 May 2008   in Species 4 Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Yellow-bellied Prinia “The Yellow-bellied Prinia (Prinia flaviventris), which is grouped among the African warbler family, is considered to be common, and resident breeding in Singapore. They can be found among lallang grass (Imperata cylindrical), and other bushy plants in open, often degraded land that had been previously bulldozed over and prepared for construction of Housing and Development Board apartments or other uses. Land that had been left alone for some while, long enough for fast... Read More

Peach-faced Lovebird found on Vesak Day eve

26 May 2008   in Illegal-Irresponsible No Comments »
Contributed by - see article -
Peach-faced Lovebird found on Vesak Day eve Vesak Day in Singapore fell on 19th May 2008. On the eve of that day, Tang Hung Bun came across a pair of strange birds at Venus Link (below). Puzzled at the identity of these birds, he posted the images in the BESG’s forum. Jeremy Lee was the first to respond, identifying one of them as Peach-faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis). Tan Kok Hui similarly identified it as the blue form of the Peach-faced Lovebird. Summerian Turks added, “These are lovebirds... Read More

Bee-eaters of the Thai-Malay Peninsula

26 May 2008   in Bee-eaters No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Eric Tan
Bee-eaters of the Thai-Malay Peninsula Bee-eaters belong to the family Meropidae. There are 25 species, mostly African. A few are found in Asia, two in Eurasia and one in Australia. Thailand has six species of bee-eaters: Chestnut-headed (Merops leschenaulti) (above left), Blue-tailed (M. philippinus ) (above right), Green (M. orientalis) (below left), Blue-throated (M. viridis) (below right), Red-bearded (Nyctyornis amictus) (bottom left) and Blue-bearded (N. athertoni) (bottom right). Malaysia has four... Read More

Owl @ Pasir Ris Park

25 May 2008   in Owls 3 Comments »
Contributed by Gerard Goh
Owl @ Pasir Ris Park . On 18th May 2008, Gerard Goh chanced upon an owl chick at Pasir Ris park while cycling along the bicycle track and posted a short account on his blog (above left). “To prevent it from being unknowingly crushed by cyclists or accidentally trampled by joggers, a fellow cyclist and I prodded it onto a piece of fallen tree bark, lifted it and placed it onto a low hanging branch of a tree. Hope it manage to survive,” he wrote. The owl chick probably fell out of its nest or... Read More

Feather damage in birds

24 May 2008   in Feathers-maintenance No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang & YC
Feather damage in birds An earlier post on the Chestnut-bellied Malkohas (Phaenicophaeus sumatranus) sunning provided the opportunity for us to examine closely the conditions of the wing feathers. We were surprised to see that more than a few feathers were in a bad condition. They were clearly worm out as compared to the other near-perfect feathers (see images below). . . . . . . . . . Feathers are dead structures. They become brittle with time and get physically damaged when in contact with the... Read More