• 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,...

Resident Black-winged Kite defending its territory

29 Jan 2009   in Interspecific, Migration-Migrants, Raptors 4 Comments »
Contributed by Subaraj Rajathurai
Resident Black-winged Kite defending its territory “On January 11th, 2009, while observing birds on Pulau Semakau, I noticed a harrier in the distance. It was hunting low over the grassland. Soon, I was able to obtain a much closer view and the plumage was distinctive; a male *Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) (left top). This is quite a rare migrant to Singapore. This autumn, there had been at least one other bird at Changi between October – December. “Suddenly, a Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus) came... Read More

What do waders do when it rains?

29 Jan 2009   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by SK Foo
What do waders do when it rains? S K Foo was at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in November 2008 when he found out exactly what the waders did when it started to rain. “It was a wet day at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve yesterday. So just how wet was it? Very wet… These birds were standing on a patch of land. As the tide rises, accompanied by heavy rainfall, these birds soon found themselves surrounded by the rising water. “When the land started to submerge under water, the birds started flying to... Read More

Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush eating an atlas moth

28 Jan 2009   in Feeding-invertebrates 2 Comments »
Contributed by Jimmy Tan
Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush eating an atlas moth Jimmy Tan a.k.a. skylark was in Malaysia’s Fraser’s Hill in December 2008 and documented a Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush (Garrulax mitratus) tackling an atlas moth (Attacus atlas). “I was at Jelai in Fraser’s Hill and witnessed this bird making a meal of a struggling Atlas Moth. The laughingthrush took its time as it literally ate the moth alive. The moth was struggling to get away to no avail. No prize for guessing who won the battle.” According to Wells... Read More

Oriental Pied Hornbill eating MacArthur palm fruit

27 Jan 2009   in Feeding-plants, Hornbills No Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee
Oriental Pied Hornbill eating MacArthur palm fruit Johnny Wee came across an Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) at Singapore’s Changi Village on the morning of 11th January 2009. The bird was perched above the fruiting branch of a MacArthur palm (Ptycospermun macarthuri) and picking the ripe fruits one by one (above left). The hornbill gingerly picked up a fruit with the sharp bill tip and with the upward flick of the head, swallowed it (above right). After the bird had its fill, it started pecking its... Read More

Birds and Dillenia suffruticosa

26 Jan 2009   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Mark Chua
Birds and Dillenia suffruticosa Mark Chua a.k.a. Cajuca was at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on the morning of 20th January 2009 when he came across the Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans) feasting on the seeds of dillenia or simpoh air (Dillenia suffruticosa) (left). The ripe fruit, when it splits open in the early morning to expose the succulent red seeds, attracts plenty of birds. It is indeed the “early bird that gets the worm” as the seeds do not remain on the fruit for long. By late... Read More

Streaked Spiderhunter catching a spider

25 Jan 2009   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-invertebrates 2 Comments »
Contributed by Ender & R Subaraj
Streaked Spiderhunter catching a spider So far, we have been posting spiderhunters taking nectar from various flowers. Nothing about the bird taking a spider. Now, Ender has produced two images of the Streaked Spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna), photographed in February 2008, in the act of picking a spider from its web. This is a classic study of a spiderhunter’s hunting a spider. After all, the bird is so-named because of its reputation in catching spiders – or is it? R Subaraj, our bird specialist says:... Read More

Little Spiderhunter and wild banana plant

24 Jan 2009   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
Little Spiderhunter and wild banana plant A Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) was photographed collecting nectar from a wild banana plant (Musa sp.) in Rengit, Johor, Malaysia by Adrian Lim recently. So far, photographers have documented the spiderhunter drinking nectar from the cultivated banana plants… the Spectacled Spiderhunter (Arachnothera flavigaster) and Little Spiderhunter. This post shows one feeding from a wild banana plant. Considering the name “spiderhunter”, has anyone photographed... Read More

Of papayas and Gold-whiskered Barbets

24 Jan 2009   in Barbet-To'can-H'guide, Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Of papayas and Gold-whiskered Barbets At 30cm, the residential Gold-whiskered Barbet (Megalaima chrysopogon) is one of the largest of Megalaimidae’s 16 species of South East Asian barbets. Their rapid ‘tehoop-tehoop-tehoop- tehoop’ extraordinary loud, hollow calls often betray their presence – otherwise well camouflaged by their mostly green plumage under tree canopies (above left & middle). Barbets are known frugivores, gorging on any edible fruits they can find. I had several opportunities... Read More

Great-billed Heron catching an eel catfish

23 Jan 2009   in Feeding-vertebrates 1 Comment »
Contributed by Mike Tan
Great-billed Heron catching an eel catfish Mike Tan a.k.a. woof is sharing his image of a Great-billed Heron (Ardea sumatrana) taken in the northern part of Singapore. The heron has just caught an eel catfish (Plotosus anguillaris), handling it carefully as the dorsal and pectoral spines are poisonous. The poison of this catfish can inflict excruciating pain or even death. The eel catfish is easily recognised from its rippling, continuous fins that run from the dorsal right down to the ventral portion of the fish.... Read More

Common Iora and chicks

22 Jan 2009   in Feeding chicks 2 Comments »
Contributed by Lee Tiah Khee
Common Iora and chicks Lee Tiah Khee’s photographic study of an adult Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia) feeding a pair of chicks at Singapore’s Bukit Timah Nature Reserve shows a number of interesting points. As is typical, the nest is a cup-shaped structure placed on a horizontal branch using spiders’ silk for attachment. The chicks do not appear to be ready to fledge as the wing feathers have yet to be fully emerged from their sheaths (lower chick). The white basal feather quills are... Read More