• 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,...

Mountain Fulvetta eating a hopper?

29 Aug 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
Mountain Fulvetta eating a hopper? Adrian Lim managed to few shots of the Mountain Fulvetta (Alcippe peracensis) having breakfast early one morning in May 2008. The insect it managed to capture appears to be a beetle. The bird behaves a little like a shrike in the way that it eats its prey, using its ‘claw’ to hold it. This shy montane forest babbler is a resident of Peninsular Malaysia. Like most babblers, they move in the lower levels of the forest and it is generally difficult to photograph... Read More

Australia’s own Don Juan: The bowerbirds

28 Aug 2008   in Courtship-Mating, Species 1 Comment »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Australia's own Don Juan: The bowerbirds One great way to see Australia is to get on to the coastal ‘choo-choo” train- The Sunlander. A thirty-one hour journey from Brisbane to Cairns- gateway to one of world’s UNESCO heritage sites- the Great Barrier Reef, turned out to be quicker than I thought, in the right company of a lively 70 year old, lady retiree. I savoured my dinner of roast pork with crackling and finished off with tea at the mobile diner. I had time to reminiscent my past… my good, youth days... Read More

White-winged Tern: Hunting technique

27 Aug 2008   in Feeding strategy 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dr Jonathan Cheah Weng Kwong
White-winged Tern: Hunting technique An earlier post gives the non-breeding, breeding (above) and transitional plumages of the White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus), also known as White-winged Black Tern documented by Dr Jonathan Cheah Weng Kwong at Kranji. This is a migratory bird that moves down the Malay Peninsula to Singapore and beyond to as far as Australia to winter. This tern is a generalist feeder, taking aquatic as well as terrestrial insects, small fish and tadpoles. It has a number of feeding... Read More

Oriental Pied Hornbill in comfort behaviour

26 Aug 2008   in Comfort behaviour, Feathers-maintenance, Hornbills 3 Comments »
Contributed by YC
Oriental Pied Hornbill in comfort behaviour At around 1250 hours on the 23rd July 2008, there was a loud call in my garden that I traced to a pair of Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris). The birds were perching on the TV aerial on the roof of my neighbour’s house. The male hornbill was calling on and off loudly with the female by his side (top left). The latter then preened the head of the former (top right) before joining in with a call of her own (below left). The male then began preening... Read More

Chestnut-bellied Malkoha catching a grasshopper

25 Aug 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Chris Lee
Chestnut-bellied Malkoha catching a grasshopper The Chestnut-bellied Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus sumatranus) is basically an insectivore. Its food includes various insects like locusts, mantids, stick insects, leaf insects, crickets, grasshoppers, cicada and large hairy caterpillars (Payne, 1997). Occasionally, it takes frogs and agamid lizards or even small fruits and seeds (Wells, 199). This image, provided by Chris Lee a.k.a. chrisli023 and photographed in August 2008, shows the malkoha with a katydid or long-horned... Read More

Black-necked Storks and the Australian Pelican

24 Aug 2008   in Interspecific 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dr CH Lee
Black-necked Storks and the Australian Pelican Dr CH Lee a.k.a. lchxian recounts his August 2008 encounter, with a pair of Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) confronting an Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) in Townsville, Australia: “…Black-necked Stork is considered an endangered species in Australia. Also commonly called Jabiru in Australia, I think Jabiru should be reserved for Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria) in Mexico. Jabiru in Tupi-Guarani languages means “swollen neck”, the... Read More

Bronzed Drongo nesting

23 Aug 2008   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Willis
Bronzed Drongo nesting Willis documented a nesting Bronzed Drongo (Dicrurus aeneus) in April 2006 brooding two chicks and is sharing the images with us (above). Bronzed Drongo is a common resident in the Malay Peninsula. It was seen in Singapore decades ago but not any more. Loss of rainforest habitats would be the main reason. The nest is an open cup precariously attached to a horizontal twig with fibres, vines, slender stems and roots that also make up the outer surface. There also appears to... Read More

Barbets of Singapore

22 Aug 2008   in Barbet-To'can-H'guide 4 Comments »
Contributed by Willis, Mark Chua, Johnny Wee & Dr Eric Tan
Barbets of Singapore Barbets are a group of diverse and attractively coloured birds placed under the family Capitonidae. There are a total of 82 species, of which 25 are Asian. Malaysia is home to 14 species. Of these, Singapore used to have five species. Now only three: Coppersmith (Megalaima haemacephala) (above left), Lineated (M. lineata) (above right) and Red-crowned (M. rafflesii) (below left) are around. The other two, Brown (Calorhamphus fuliginosus) (below right) and Blue-eared (M.... Read More

Black-thighed Falconet feasting on a bird

21 Aug 2008   in Feeding-vertebrates, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman
Black-thighed Falconet feasting on a bird Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman was having lunch one afternoon in July 2008 when he noticed a Black-thighed Falconet (Microhierax fringillarius) perched high up on the dead teak tree in his backyard (left). As he was about to leave for work, he noticed the raptor had a prey in its clutches. At first he thought the prey was a Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) or even a Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum), as the latter was earlier photographed perching above the... Read More

Bee-eater taking afternoon dip in the lake

20 Aug 2008   in Bee-eaters, Feathers-maintenance No Comments »
Contributed by Meibao
Bee-eater taking afternoon dip in the lake On 11th August 2008, Meibao photographed another “mass dip” of bee-eaters at the Symphony Lake at the Singapore Botanic Gardens (above left). The earlier post was in February 2008 where a small group took an afternoon dip in that we thought we thought they may be catching mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis). This time it was at 1650 hours, another hot afternoon and the birds were seen drying themselves after the dip (above right). As Meibao wrote, “They do not have the... Read More