• 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,...

Pied Imperial Pigeons eating palm fruits

28 Dec 2008   in Feeding-plants, Pigeon-Dove 6 Comments »
Contributed by Mark Chua
Pied Imperial Pigeons eating palm fruits Mark Chua had an exciting encounter with a flock of more than ten Pied Imperial Pigeons (Ducula bicolor) that descended on a palm tree in a garden in July 2008. The palm appears to be a fan palm (Livistona sp.), whose ripe fruits are bright orange, each with a large seed. The pigeons obviously swallowed the fruits whole, the gizzard scraping off the flesh. And what about the seeds? My guess is that they would be regurgitated after a short while. Smaller seeds would pass... Read More

Blue-winged Pitta catching a snail

27 Dec 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates 5 Comments »
Contributed by Ender
Blue-winged Pitta catching a snail An earlier post on the Hooded Pitta (Pitta sordida) with a land mollusc in its bill, a new food record, encouraged Ender to send an image of a Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis), also with a mollusc that he took earlier this year. Again, this is another new food record for the Blue-winged Pitta. Wells (2007) mentions only earthworms as its food. Earlier posts similarly show earthworms being collected by the bird (1, 2, 3). The image was taken at the Singapore Zoological... Read More

Birds of the Solstice: Starlings, orioles and a drongo

26 Dec 2008   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Patricia Thong
Birds of the Solstice: Starlings, orioles and a drongo “On 21st Dec between roughly 5:30-6pm, three groups of birds visited, in succession, the flowering rain trees (Samanea saman) just outside my balcony in Braddell. First there was a group of about five to eight Aisan Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis). Starlings are frequent visitors to these rain trees in flocks. “Then there was a Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradisus ) who called out with its melodious strains to his buddy, hidden from my view but... Read More

Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker taking a leaf bath

26 Dec 2008   in Feathers-maintenance 1 Comment »
Contributed by Choo Teik Ju
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker taking a leaf bath Choo Teik Ju a.k.a. choo photographed a female Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum) taking a leaf bath on a simpoh air (Dillenia suffruticosa) leaf. This happened on the morning of July 2008 along Jalan Durian in Singapore’s offshore island of Pulau Ubin. Wrote Teik Ju, “I ever seen a Striped Tit Babbler (Macronous gularis) taking bath on the leaves of simpoh air at Chestnut Avenue, but was surprised to see this pretty lady taking a bath on simpoh air leaf... Read More

Common Greenshank catching a prawn

25 Dec 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by David Tan
Common Greenshank catching a prawn David Tan documented a Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) catching a prawn and, with difficulty, swallowing it. The bird first dipped the prawn in water and swallowed it tail-first, as this would avoid any sharp spines damaging its throat. In all, it took about ten minutes to complete process, all the time having to avoid other birds trying to rob it of its prize. The Common Greenshank forages mostly along coastal areas, especially where the substrate is soft mud. Its... Read More

Why does the Hooded Pitta stand on one leg?

24 Dec 2008   in Migration-Migrants No Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee & G Sreedharan
Why does the Hooded Pitta stand on one leg? The Hooded Pitta (Pitta sordida), an uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant to Singapore, has been seen by many around the end of November to December 2008. The areas around Jurong, at the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, are a favourite spot. The pitta has also been spotted at Bidadari, a lightly wooded area that was, until recently, a cemetery. And on 17th December, Johnny Wee also succeeded in photographing a Hooded Pitta, but standing on one leg (below left). Now why... Read More

Hooded Pitta eating a land mollusc

23 Dec 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates 3 Comments »
Contributed by Lim Poh Bee
Hooded Pitta eating a land mollusc December is usually the peak migratory period for the sightings of the Hooded Pittas (Pitta sordida) around Singapore. And for the past weeks, photographers have been showcasing their many images on e-forums and webpages. And of course a few birdwatchers were “visible” when they commented on these images. At such times it is an advantage to have a camera with you when in the field, as otherwise how else can an excited observer waxes lyrical and shares his/her joy after... Read More

Looking and studying birds at your doorstep

23 Dec 2008   in Miscellaneous 3 Comments »
Contributed by Lena Chow
Looking and studying birds at your doorstep  “I’ve always been fascinated by the variety of birds that visit the trees in the field across the road from my house near Aljunied Park. On a soggy Sunday afternoon yesterday, I could not help noticing some activity in one of the large trees that directly faces my bedroom. Between about 4.00pm and 5.15pm, when the continuous all-day drizzle took a brief respite, these birds came by: 4 Black-naped Orioles (Oriolus chinensis), 1 Golden-bellied Gerygone (Gerygone... Read More

Birds of the Solstice: Birding at Singapore’s Bidadari Cemetery

22 Dec 2008   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang & Willi Kwek
Birds of the Solstice: Birding at Singapore's Bidadari Cemetery The weather in Singapore does have an effect on bird behavior, and this would in a way affect the productivity of our bird watching activities. When dawn broke on Sunday 21st December 2008, the sky was blue and dotted with puffs of clouds. I thought this would be a perfect day for birding. However this was not to be, as perfect weather is also great weather for migrant birds to continue flying to whatever destination they are heading for. However, resident birds will always... Read More

Birds of the Solstice: Calls of the Black-naped Oriole

22 Dec 2008   in Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by YC
Birds of the Solstice: Calls of the Black-naped Oriole Ever since Gloria Seow mentioned that the Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis) has at least seven different calls, I have been planning to document them – but have not been doing anything until yesterday, the 21st December 2008. Why yesterday? The winter solstice falls at exactly 2004 hours yesterday and David Ringer of Birdstack has organised a community project, Birds of the Solstice, to cover a period of 12 hours before and 12 hours after the solstice. During... Read More