• 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,...

Common Iora handling caterpillar

07 May 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Choo Teik Ju
Common Iora handling caterpillar Choo Teik Ju was observing a male Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia) moving around the branches of a tree when it suddenly caught a caterpillar. With the caterpillar firmly clamped in its bill, the bird flew to another tree to eat it. Still gripping the caterpillar in its bill, it gently swiped it against the branch a few times (left; below, top left). It then left it on the branch, looked at it for a short while as if to admire its handiwork (below, top right). Finally, it... Read More

Excitement around a Collared Owlet

06 May 2008   in Interspecific, Owls 2 Comments »
Contributed by Nelson Khor & Roger Moo
Excitement around a Collared Owlet It was March 2008 and Nelson Khor was birding with a group of photographer buddies at Bukit Tinggit, Pahang, Malaysia when he encountered and photographed a Collared Owlet (Glaucidium brodiei) (above). Roger Moo a.k.a. Cactus400D similarly managed to shoot the seldom seen owlet and wrote an interesting account of their encounter. It was late evening and they were looking for a spiderhunter. An owl flew in and chased away the spiderhunter. Everyone rushed to the scene to... Read More

BESG’s website logged 300,000 visitors: A tribute to bird photographers

05 May 2008   in Reports No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
BESG’s website logged 300,000 visitors: A tribute to bird photographers The BESG website has passed another milestone – 300,000 visitors. And after nearly three years of posting more than 700 items on bird behaviour. We initially planned to wait until half a million visitors to make an announcement. But things are changing fast in the local birdwatching scene. There are signs of a possible paradigm shift in the mindset of local birdwatchers. And we are eager to announce this. The local nature society’s birdwatching community is at last... Read More

Black-capped Kingfisher catching a fiddler crab

04 May 2008   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-invertebrates, Kingfishers 1 Comment »
Contributed by Jianzhong Liu
Black-capped Kingfisher catching a fiddler crab This documentation of a Black-capped Kingfisher (Halcyon pileata) catching a fiddler crab was made in the Mai Po marshes of Hongkong (above). Jianzhong Liu a.k.a Jz first posted the images in NaturePixels.org in March 2008 The Black-capped Kingfisher breeds in the Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Indochina and Korea. It winters in many parts of Southeast Asia. In Singapore as well as in Hongkong, it is a rare winter visitor and passage migrant, although Hongkong sees an... Read More

Antics of the Banded Woodpeckers

04 May 2008   in Feeding strategy 2 Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Antics of the Banded Woodpeckers “On 28/04/2008, I went to the Singapore Botanic Gardens just to check out the bird life there, generally quite quiet, finally ended up at the Ginger Garden where I was met by three noisy Banded Woodpeckers (Picus miniaceus) hard at work, hopping from branch to branch. “Their reason for hopping from branch to branch was to check out the ones that were rotten, and being a rotten branch, there would always be a chance that there would be a scrumptious grub for... Read More

Olive-backed Sunbird taking spider

03 May 2008   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-invertebrates, Sunbirds 1 Comment »
Contributed by Lee Tiah Khee
Olive-backed Sunbird taking spider Lee Tiah Khee photographed this male Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) about to eat a spider it had just caught (above). He next went on to document the female Olive-backed Sunbird in the process of taking another spider from its web. The bird flew towards the web, hovered in front for a short moment and with surgical precision, picked the spider off from the centre of the web (below). This sunbird is a generalist as far as food is concerned. Wells (2007) reports... Read More

Encounter with a Collared Scops Owl

02 May 2008   in Owls No Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee
Encounter with a Collared Scops Owl During his regular morning walks in the Central Catchment Forest in February 2008, Johnny Wee had a number of surprise encounters with the Collared Scops Owl (Otus bakkamoena). Each time the encounter was in a different location, perching on a branch of a tree and staring at him. He did not have his usual photographic gear with him the first time and could not record his sighting. Other times when he was prepared, the owl flew off as soon as he approached. He was lucky on... Read More

Tiger Shrike eating cicada

01 May 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
Tiger Shrike eating cicada An adult male Tiger Shrike (Lanius tigrinus) in breeding plumage was photographed in Malaysia by Adrian Lim a.k.a. wmw998 and posted in the NaturePixels.org forum. It was the morning of April 2008 when the Tiger Shrike caught a large cicada, specifically the Large Bird Cicada (Dundubia somraja) (above). This cicada is green with transparent wings. The bird is a passage migrant and winter visitor in both Malaysia and Singapore. It hunts from a perch and takes large insects... Read More

1994 sighting of the Great Hornbill remembered

01 May 2008   in Hornbills No Comments »
Contributed by Ben & YC
1994 sighting of the Great Hornbill remembered Ben drew my attention to the 2004 special issue of the journal, Bird Conservation International. This special issue, dedicated to the conservation of hornbills, carries some of the many papers read at the Third International Hornbill Workshop held in Phuket, Thailand in 2001. Ben e-mailed me, “I just came across a bit of interesting trivia from an introduction page of a special supplement of Bird Conservation International dedicated to the conservation of hornbills…... Read More

Dollarbird feeding nestlings with shield-bug

30 Apr 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates 2 Comments »
Contributed by James Wong
Dollarbird feeding nestlings with shield-bug The Dollarbirds (Eurystomus orientalis) were nesting again at the Changi Boardwalk. Constructed from palm stems, probably nibong (Oncosperma sp.), the rotting top portions are favourite nesting holes for these birds. These hole nesters make use of the natural cavities as they are not able to excavate their own. There is an earlier post on the nesting in 2006. James Wong a.k.a. Jw73 documented the birds bringing insects to the nestlings and are sharing his images with us... Read More