• 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,...

Silver-breasted Broadbill building nest

20 May 2008   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Alvin a.k.a. epiphytophile
Silver-breasted Broadbill building nest Alvin a.k.a. epiphytophile, managed to photograph a pair of Silver-breasted Broadbill (Serilophus lunatus) busy building their nest in Malaysia in the latter part of Aril 2008. The male is distinguished from the female by the absence of a distinct thin white necklace. The male above has in its bill a bunch of plant fibres, looking like palm fibres, for the nest he is halping to build. The female below has fibres (left) and leaves (right) for the nest. The nest is built... Read More

White-throated Kingfisher swallowing lizard

20 May 2008   in Feeding-vertebrates, Kingfishers 4 Comments »
Contributed by Joseph Yao
White-throated Kingfisher swallowing lizard A White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) was photographed by Joseph Yao swallowing a lizard nearly as long as itself. This, of course includes the lizard’s long tail. The lizard was caught and brought back to the kingfisher’s perch where it was subdued by bashing it against the wooden billboard. The lizard was then grabbed by the head and with one flick of the bird’s head, was swallowed head-first. The entire process of swallowing lasted only 90 seconds when... Read More

Nesting of Black-naped Monarch

19 May 2008   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim a.k.a. wmw998
Nesting of Black-naped Monarch Black-naped Monarch (Hypothymis azurea) is a very attractive bird. The male is blue and white, with a dark blue breast-band and nuchal tuft (above left). The female is duller blue and without the breast-band and nuchal tuft (above right). The bird is a rare resident in Singapore and a relatively common resident in Malaysia. Most nesting records are from Malaysia and this one is from the 2007 nesting in Rengit, Johor. The nest is wedged in the fork of a sapling. It is a deep... Read More

Great Egret catching fish

18 May 2008   in Feeding-vertebrates, Heron-Egret-Bittern 1 Comment »
Contributed by James Wong
Great Egret catching fish The Great Egret (Casmerodius albus), also known as Great White Egret, is an impressive looking bird. Standing at 100 cm tall or more, it is one of the larger herons around. A common winter visitor, the bird can be seen all the year round around rivers, mangroves and such habitats. To see one in action catching fish is a memorable sight indeed. Like most herons, the Great Egret is usually a passive hunter. Most times it takes a few slow steps in the shallow water, stands... Read More

White-bellied Sea Eagle foraging in monsoon drain

18 May 2008   in Feeding-vertebrates 2 Comments »
Contributed by Eddy Lee Kam Pang
White-bellied Sea Eagle foraging in monsoon drain Has anyone has ever seen a White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) snatching a rat out from a monsoon drain? Eddy Lee Kam Pang has. He chanced upon the incident when an adult eagle flew down into a monsoon drain at Bukit Panjang on 12th May 2008 in pursuit of a rat. “I got blown-away by the action of this bird as to what was it doing in a monsoon drain whose water level was extremely low at the time. Certainly an unlikely place to find a sizable fish,” mused... Read More

Jogging through a termite hatch

17 May 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Steven Chong
A termite hatch can be an exciting experience. Thousands of these reproductive termites, forced out of their mounds by workers, take to the sky and swarm round light sources. If you are in the midst of a hatch in the open, there will be termites all over you and you better keep your mouth closed. If the termites enter your home, attracted by the lights, they usually end up in water – either your drinks or if you are having dinner, your soup bowls. One way of control... Read More

Chestnut-bellied Malkohas sunning

16 May 2008   in Feathers-maintenance 4 Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Chestnut-bellied Malkohas sunning “Chestnut-bellied Malkohas (Phaenicophaeus sumatranus) are considered uncommon, nationally near threatened, and globally near-threatened species, so it is with great luck that I was able to come across two birds in the same morning. I believe one of them was a female, however based on my fleeting observations of the two I am not able to tell. “The morning was blessed with bright sunlight, and the two birds were obviously enjoying having a sunbath. And with their dark... Read More

Nesting of Common Iora

16 May 2008   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Tan Gim Cheong
Nesting of Common Iora “Noon is a bad time for birding – most birds would be hiding from the hot weather. However, I decided to go to the Japanese Gardens as I had not been there for a while. “A male Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia) was found sitting on its nest (left top). The nest was built at the fork of some branches around 4m above the ground and covered with spiderweb. When the female returned with food, the male would leave and the chicks could be seen gaping for food... Read More

A family of Little Grebes

15 May 2008   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Eric Tan
A family of Little Grebes The Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) was first recorded in 1992 at a pond in Punggol. By 1994 a few were noticed feeding and breeding across the Serangoon River. By 1996 the number increased to 27 birds, helped by colonisation from nearby Malaysia. Unfortunately habitat destruction caused the number to once again decline but by 2005 a pair was found breeding in Serangoon. The current documentation of breeding was made in November 2005 by Dr Eric Tan at Serangoon. Two... Read More

House Swift nesting

14 May 2008   in Nesting 1 Comment »
Contributed by Lin Yangchen
House Swift nesting “Yesterday I noticed a group of four to five House Swifts (Apus affinis) circling in the airspace under an Mass Rapid Transit viaduct at around 0900 hours. The weather was fair. Two of them deviated from the circular trajectory at regular intervals to ascend towards, but not establish contact with, a nest glued under the viaduct adjacent to one of the pillars (left). By 0945 hours they were nowhere to be seen. “There were two additional nests joined to each other (as... Read More