• 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,...

Golden Babbler catching stick insect

12 Jul 2008   in Feeding-vertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
Golden Babbler catching stick insect Adrian Lim a.k.a. wmw998 photographed a Golden Babbler (Stachyris chrysaea) in Peninsular Malaysia catching a phasmid (below). The bird had the stick insect’s head tightly clamped in its bill and bashed it against the branch. It then held the anterior end of the insect against the branch with its right foot and manipulated the other end with its bill in an effort to eat it. Very little is known of what food this babbler takes, besides ants, caterpillars and the occasional... Read More

Feet of the Common Coot

11 Jul 2008   in Morphology-Develop. 1 Comment »
Contributed by KC Tsang & Richard Carden
Feet of the Common Coot The Common Coot (Fulica atra) is a large bird that is generally quarrelsome. The charcoal plumage and flashy bill shield make it easy to recognise. The image above was taken by KC Tsang when he visited the London Wetland Centre in June 2008. Found frequently in still or slow-moving freshwaters, the coot is a fully aquatic bird. It takes to the air rather reluctantly but they are strong fliers, compared to others in the family. An unusual adaptation to its life in water is... Read More

Eurasian Sparrowhawk on webcam: Update

10 Jul 2008   in Nesting, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Dave Culley
Eurasian Sparrowhawk on webcam: Update Dave Culley recently sent images of the Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) nesting in his garden in Cheshire, England. He has been monitoring the pair for some time now. These images here are of the 2008 nesting. The brood of five chicks is seen above at 12 days old. The other image (below) shows the female sheltering the chicks from the rain. The female is just starting to hunt with the male, now that the chicks are older. Prior to this the male was hunting, bringing... Read More

Oriental Pied Hornbill breaking out of her nest

09 Jul 2008   in Hornbills, Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Eric Tan
Oriental Pied Hornbill breaking out of her nest Most birders know that the female hornbill seals herself inside a tree cavity when she is ready to lay her eggs. But how many have actually witnessed the hornbill breaking out of its cavity when the chicks inside are ready to leave the nest? Let alone document the stages? It has to be left to a photographer to undertake the assignment. Dr Eric Tan, an avid nature (bird) photographer, was at Pulau Ubin at the right time when the female Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros... Read More

Injured Great Blue Heron

08 Jul 2008   in Heron-Egret-Bittern, Rescue 1 Comment »
Contributed by Summer Fey Foovay
Injured Great Blue Heron Our post on the injured Purple Heron at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve attracted the attention of Summer Fey Foovay of Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. She encountered and documented an injured adult Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) way back in October 2005 on one of the two Tern Islands. She found out from the vet that as the injury was old, the wing could not be saved. And a single winged heron could not possibly survive in the wild. This meant that it could not be returned to... Read More

White-winged Tern: Breeding, non-breeding and transitional plumages

07 Jul 2008   in Morphology-Develop., Waders No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Jonathan Cheah Weng Kwong
White-winged Tern: Breeding, non-breeding and transitional plumages Jonathan has been monitoring the White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) at Kranji since 2005. In that early period when he was new to birds, he was rather puzzled by the “chocolate chip” tern he photographed and had difficulty getting it identified (below left). He now knows that it is a White-winged dressed in a transitional plumage. The White-winged, also known as White-winged Black Tern, breeds in Siberia. It winters south, moving down the Malay Peninsula to... Read More

Encounter with juvenile bee-eater in an earth cavity

06 Jul 2008   in Bee-eaters, Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Hourman
Encounter with juvenile bee-eater in an earth cavity “On 28/6/08 morning while I was taking pictures around the vacant land somewhere along the Kadaloor LRT Station in Punggol, I came across a dugout on the sandy ground,” wrote Hourman (left). “As I approached I saw two juvenile birds near the entrance of the hole (left bottom). The moment they noticed my presence, they started backtracking into it. The hole wasn’t that deep because they could still be seen when they finally stopped, and the two crammed together... Read More

Mountain Fulvetta collecting nesting material

05 Jul 2008   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
Mountain Fulvetta collecting nesting material This Mountain Fulvetta (Alcippe peracensis), a shy montane forest babbler, was photographed in Frasers’ Hill, Malaysia in May 2008 with a long piece of fibre in its bill. As with most babblers, it is generally difficult to locate, let alone photograph. Besides being shy, it moves around rather fast. To have an image of it with a piece of nesting material is quite an achievement. The nest is not often seen. It is an open cup of leaves attached to horizontal stems. The... Read More

Broadbills of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Nesting

04 Jul 2008   in Nests No Comments »
Contributed by Willis
An earlier post dealt with the seven species of broadbills seen in the Thai-Malay Peninsula. This post deals with some of their nests. The nest is an untidy woven structure, globular to oval, or pouched-shaped. It is hung some distance from the ground from overhanging branches. There is a side entrance, sometimes with a crude porch. The base of the nest is untidy, with strands of plant materials hanging loose. The inside of the nesting cavity is lined with green leaves. In... Read More

Broadbills of the Thai-Malay Peninsula

03 Jul 2008   in Species 4 Comments »
Contributed by Willis, Dr Eric Tan & Mark Chua
Broadbills of the Thai-Malay Peninsula Broadbills make up a small group of tropical birds of the family Eurylamidae. There are a total of 15 species, mostly brightly coloured. Eleven species are from Southeast Asia while the remaining four are African species. The Thai-Malay Peninsula claims seven species. Singapore used to have five species: Black-and-red (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos) (above left), Black-and-yellow (Eurylaimus ochromalus) (above right), Banded (Eurylaimus javanicus) (below left), Dusky... Read More