• 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,...

Plain-pouched Hornbill’s eyelashes

23 Oct 2008   in Hornbills, Morphology-Develop. No Comments »
Contributed by Forest Ang & Nardia Thompson
Plain-pouched Hornbill’s eyelashes A post on eyelashes in birds way back in March 2007 brought a comment by Nardia Thompson recently: “I can tell you for a fact that there are several different types of birds that have eyelashes. When I was a tot we went to a petting zoo. Atop a pile of rocks was a solid black bird with a very long black beak. This bird had “showgirl” eyelashes. I noticed them from afar. I asked the keeper if I could pet the bird and he said “You can try…” and to a kid that... Read More

“Willie” the wagtail

22 Oct 2008   in Feeding strategy, Species No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
"Willie" the wagtail My first encounter with Australian birds some years ago was of shear fascination of names the birds are being known to be called. Bird field guide books have names to substantiate their apt description, be it their behaviour, bird calls or simply in anatomical description, habitat or their eating habits. Readers would rightly have guessed who they are, by mere hearing or be looking at by the mention of Catbird, Butcherbird, Lyrebird, Riflebird, Cicadabird, Bellbird,... Read More

Southern Ground Hornbill sighted in Singapore

21 Oct 2008   in Hornbills No Comments »
Contributed by Chan Kwok Wai, Steven Chong & Summerian Turks
Southern Ground Hornbill sighted in Singapore The recent posting of the Southern Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri) got a response from Steven Chong who wrote: “Spotted one roaming free some years back at West Coast Park (the carpark side with pond, next to dog run). Must have been an escapee?” Steven was jogging then and did not have his camera with him. However, he got an image from Chan Kok Wai who saw it on the morning on 5th July 2003. The bird was on a grass patch along Rifle Range Road somewhere near PIE... Read More

Chinese Egret at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

20 Oct 2008   in Waders 4 Comments »
Contributed by Mendis Tan
Chinese Egret at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve A Chinese Egret (Egretta eulophotes) was photographed by Mendis Tan at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on 25th August 2008. This bird is an uncommon winter visitor. The first record for Singapore was a specimen collected in 1940 at Seletar Airbase. Subsequently it was seen ar various locations like Changi, Jurong, Serangoon and Pulau Ubin. It arrives as early as 24th September and as late as 21st May. The current sighting on 25th August is an early date of arrival since... Read More

Crows caching food

18 Oct 2008   in Crows, Feeding strategy 1 Comment »
Contributed by Thong Chow Ngian
“I have an observation about crows which was unusual to me. In 2006, I saw flocks of crows surrounding a fisherman at a canal in Pasir Ris, near the Avana Downtown East Resort. The fisherman was using a casting net to catch tilapia in the shallow canal. He threw away many small silver fishes about 2 inches long. I observed a crow with a fish in its beak, flying to a grassy area. Instead of eating the fish, the crow found a patch on the ground and buried the fish, as if to... Read More

Gold-whiskered Barbet and papaya

17 Oct 2008   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman
Gold-whiskered Barbet and papaya Gold-whiskered Barbet (Megalaima chrysopogon) is recorded to eat fruits such as figs and berries, as well as insects. Generally, its food habits are not well known. Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman has now added papaya (Carica papaya) as a new food record. Reference: Short, L. L. & J. F. M. Horne, 2002. Family Capitonidae (Barbets). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal (eds.). Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 7. Jacamars to Woodpeckers. Lynx Editions,... Read More

Southern Ground Hornbill

17 Oct 2008   in Hornbills No Comments »
Contributed by Winston Loong
Southern Ground Hornbill Southern Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri) is found in parts of Kenya, Burundi, Angola, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. This is the largest and heaviest of the hornbills. The plumage is all black with white primary feathers that are apparent only when the bird flies, and that is infrequently and only when necessary. The male has red facial skin and an inflatable bright red throat skin (above). The female has a blue patch on the red throat skin. This hornbill is a... Read More

Encounter with the Plain-pouched Hornbills of Perak

16 Oct 2008   in Migration-Migrants 1 Comment »
Contributed by Subaraj Rajathurai
Encounter with the Plain-pouched Hornbills of Perak “The Plain-pouched Hornbill (Aceros subruficollis) is considered a South-East Asian endemic by Robson (2000) with a distribution that includes Myanmar, Tenasserim, W & S Thailand and northern Peninsula Malaysia but Wells (1999), who calls this species the Tenasserim Hornbill, includes Assam in the species’s range. “Previously, only 9 species of hornbills were confirmed for Peninsula Malaysia. Then in 1992, Sutari Supari and Ho Hua Chew observed large numbers of... Read More

Blog Action Day 2008: Migrants

15 Oct 2008   in Migration-Migrants, Miscellaneous 1 Comment »
Contributed by YC
Blog Action Day 2008: Migrants The bulk of our migrants arrive during September through to November. Most come from the temperate north to escape the harsh winter and the resulting food shortage. Here in the south, they find greener pastures, to fatten up before returning to their breeding grounds from March to late May. The winter visitors stay for a few weeks to months while the passage migrants are here only for a few days before they continue their journey south. Besides birds, we also have other... Read More

Smooth Otter at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

14 Oct 2008   in Miscellaneous 5 Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Smooth Otter at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve KC Tsang as at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on 10th October 2008 looking for birds to photograph. What he encountered was a Smooth Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata), a member of a family that had taken residence at the park. “Was at SBWR this morning, and came across this fellow lying on his bed of green algae. Realising that someone was watching him, he opened his eyes, looked at me, and decided to walk around a bit, did a big pee on the path, funny thing was he then... Read More