• 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,...

Chestnut-bellied Malkoha feeding chick a lizard

03 Oct 2008   in Feeding chicks, Feeding-vertebrates 2 Comments »
Contributed by Jimmy Tan
Chestnut-bellied Malkoha feeding chick a lizard Photographers located a pair of Chestnut-bellied Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus sumatranus) nesting in the Mandai Orchid Garden in August 2008. Jimmy Tan a.k.a. skylark was among the many that were there to document the event. The nest was a simple platform of loosely placed twigs built at the fork of a tree. The chick in the nest was already well developed and the adult was flying in regularly feeding it. The food brought included a Sumatran flying dargon (Draco sumantranus)... Read More

I and the Bird #85

02 Oct 2008   in Reports No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
 I and the Bird #85 Good news! After five days of “technical glitch” the site is back in business. Thanks to Jac. BESG was supposed to host the carnival, I and the Bird #85 on this day but Mike Bergin of 10000 Birds came to the rescue. Thanks Mike! Check out the carnival at this... Read More

Little Grebe: Piggybacking chicks

28 Sep 2008   in Feeding chicks 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dr Jonathan Cheah Weng Kwong
Little Grebe: Piggybacking chicks Photographers like to show images of Little Grebes (Tachybaptus ruficollis) carrying their chicks on their back. Indeed these images attract the most attention, as seen in the one above by Dr Jonathan Cheah Weng Kwong. Most grebe species carry their chicks in a pocket formed between the wing and the dorsal feathers. This may be seen when the birds are on the nest, with the adult feeding the chicks when they are snug inside. When the adult is swimming, the chicks may be... Read More

Yellow-vented Bulbul: Another nesting tragedy

27 Sep 2008   in Nesting-failed No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Yellow-vented Bulbul: Another nesting tragedy For the last one month and more, I have been keeping an eye on a nesting pair of Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) in my small belimbing tree (Averrhoa belimbi). The birds took about a week to build their simple nest, tucked between the bases of the compound leaves near the top of one of the many leading shoots. The nest was not obvious and was just above eye-level. It looked just like a mass of dead leaves stuck on to the leaf bases (above left). Whenever I walked... Read More

Oriental Pratincole: Adult and juvenile

26 Sep 2008   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Nelson Khor
Oriental Pratincole: Adult and juvenile In June 2008 Nelson Khor posted images of the adult Oriental Pratincole (Glareola maldivarum) in breeding plumage and a juvenile, and commented that it: “Is common in Penang and Kedah in Malaysia, once they arrive, immediately they start nesting, when the juvenile are grown, they will start to move on and back to their home…” The image of the juvenile above shows it stretching its right foot and wing at the same time. This appears to be a favourite comfort behaviour... Read More

Indian Silverbills reusing Baya Weaver nests

25 Sep 2008   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Ashwini Vaidya
Indian Silverbills reusing Baya Weaver nests From India comes a note from Ashwini Vaidya, on the preference of the Indian Silverbill (Lonchura malabarica) for old weaver nests. “I have been following BESG for a while and find it really interesting. Sending my picture of Indian Silverbills occupying a Baya Weaver’s nest. They were abandoned, half completed nests and this is the second time I have seen Silverbills occupying nests made by weavers. The picture was taken in Hyderabad, India.“ Earlier in January... Read More

Brood care in Malkoha: A collaboration with a photographer

24 Sep 2008   in Photography No Comments »
Contributed by - see article -
Brood care in Malkoha: A collaboration with a photographer In my earlier post on the changing face of birding in Singapore, I lamented on the lack of bird behaviour observations made by local birders during the last few decades – a result of excessive twitching and listing. I also mentioned that bird photographers are currently at the forefront of behavioural studies. I was thus pleasantly surprised when I found out about the latest publication on the brooding care of the Chestnut-bellied Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus sumatranus)... Read More

Changing face of birding in Singapore

23 Sep 2008   in Reports No Comments »
Contributed by YC
Changing face of birding in Singapore The above paper has just been published. A PDF copy is available HERE. Birding can be said to have originated in mid-1960s when British birders mist-netted and ringed birds as part of the Migratory Animal Pathological Survey that was then based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The survey was scientific in nature, and the activity yielded important information on bird migration, breeding and moulting data. When the survey ended, Ng Soon Chye continued ringing activities at the old... Read More

Bird plant: White-stemmed button vine, Cissus hastate

22 Sep 2008   in Plants 8 Comments »
Contributed by YC
Bird plant: White-stemmed button vine, Cissus hastate The white-stemmed button vine (Cissus hastate) is a herbaceous plant with 4-angled stem that is narrowly winged (left). It climbs with the help of its reddish tendrils, scrambling over low vegetation and tall trees, to dangle down from the high branches. The leaves are simple, with an arrow-shaped base that narrows to a pointed tip. The small flowers are in bunches borne along the stem, developing into round berries that turn black on ripening. Fruiting is profuse,... Read More

Brown-capped Woodpecker chick fell from its nest

21 Sep 2008   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Lee Tiah Khee
Brown-capped Woodpecker chick fell from its nest In early August 2008, Lee Tiah Khee witnessed something most birders fail to notice. He was monitoring a pair of Brown-capped Woodpecker (Dendrocopos moluccensis), also known as Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, when he saw the chick fell out of the nesting cavity (left top). It was around noon when this unfortunate incident happened. One of the adult responded but there was nothing it could do. The chick tried flying but ended on the ground below the nest (left bottom). The adults... Read More