• 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,...

Close encounter with an Asian Koel

15 Jun 2008   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Close encounter with an Asian Koel It was evening, round about 1730 hours. I was sitting under my porch reading. Suddenly there was the loud and distinct swish-swish-swish, reminding me of the flapping of a powerful pairs of wings. Puzzled, I looked around. There, above me was a large bird, flying around and round under the roof of my porch. The porch is about 5 metres square, with 0.5 metre sides from which arise the sloping roof that meet at a common point. The bird was trapped under the raised roof as it... Read More

Nest parasitism: Banded Bay and Indian Cuckoos

14 Jun 2008   in Brood parasitism 1 Comment »
Contributed by Morten Strange & Ong Kiem Sian
Nest parasitism: Banded Bay and Indian Cuckoos Cuckoos (Family Cuculidae) are a diverse and fascinating group of birds. Of the world’s 140 species, 57 or 40% are nest parasites. And most of the cuckoos of this region are nest parasites. Being nest parasites, these birds lay their eggs in the nests of host birds. Thus they never raise their own young but rely entirely on other host species to do all the work of nest building, incubation and chick rearing. We are most familiar with the Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea)... Read More

Grey Heron swallowing fish

13 Jun 2008   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-vertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee
Grey Heron swallowing fish On 2nd June 2008, Johnny Wee was witness to a Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) at the Chinese Garden in Jurong catching a fish. The heron was in the shallow water when it sighted a fish nearby. With a swift move, it caught the fish and flew off to dry land. There, it took about 15 minutes to manipulate the tilapia before it could swallow it head-first. After swallowing the fish, it went to the water edge to drink – a total of five times before it was satisfied. The fish was... Read More

Asian Glossy Starling: Juvenile sex

12 Jun 2008   in Miscellaneous 6 Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
Asian Glossy Starling: Juvenile sex In May 2008, Adrian Lim a.k.a. wmw998 documented a pair of juvenile Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis) copulating, or so it seems (below). “Are they actually copulating or just experimenting as with most juveniles?” he wonders. Birds learn from observing the adults, and this includes copulation. So obviously, the juveniles were imitating the adults when the older juvenile mounted the younger. The age difference can be seen in the eye colour. There are actually... Read More

Striped-throated Bulbul

11 Jun 2008   in Species No Comments »
Contributed by Layhwee
Striped-throated Bulbul The Striped-throated Bulbul (Pycnonotus finlaysoni) is a dull-coloured bird distinguished by the yellow head-streaks (above). Its other distinguishing feature which may not always be present is the tiny red supraloral spot, characteristic of the nominate race that is found in Peninsular Malaysia. This bulbul is not found in Singapore. Layhwee came across a family of three, two adults and a recently fledged chick in Bukit Tinggi, Malaysia in May 2008 (above). The... Read More

Sophisticated architecture of Baya Weaver’s nest

11 Jun 2008   in Nests 4 Comments »
Contributed by Oka Dwi P. & Swiss Winasis
Sophisticated architecture of Baya Weaver’s nest “Round and oval objects are hanging on the branches of a mangrove tree, swinging slightly when the wind blows (above). These are the nests of the Baya Weavers (Ploceus philippinus) (below top). There are more than ten of them, hanging from the branches of a tree in Sempadan swamp along Bogowonto river in the coastal village of Pagak Purworejo, Indonesia. This is a favourite nesting area of these birds. “The nest architecture is complicated. Each nest is... Read More

Injured Purple Heron: Seven months on

10 Jun 2008   in Feeding strategy, Heron-Egret-Bittern 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dr Chua Ee Kiam
Injured Purple Heron: Seven months on In early November 2007, Dr Chua Ee Kiam reported the presence of a Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve with a torn lower jaw. Three months on it was still alive and well. Now, seven months on, Ee Kiam again encountered the heron and report on its efforts at feeding. “Managed to photograph the Purple Heron (that was injured in the neck) feeding on a catfish in SBWR on 2nd June 2008. Initially I saw the heron landing on the water edge with... Read More

Noisy Miner attacking Pied Currawong

10 Jun 2008   in Interspecific 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dr CH Lee
Noisy Miner attacking Pied Currawong Most Australian birders would know that Noisy Miners (Manorina melanocephala) are territorial and extremely aggressive. They would not hesitate to attack larger birds that invade their territory. An earlier post by Dr CH Lee a.k.a lchxian, details the attack by Noisy Miners (Manorina melanocephala) on a helpless Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis) in Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia. Compared to the dove, which is about 15-20 cm long, the miner is larger at 25-29 cm.... Read More

Dark-necked Tailorbird collecting floss

09 Jun 2008   in Nests No Comments »
Contributed by Lin Yangchen
Dark-necked Tailorbird collecting floss Lin Yangchen documented a male Dark-necked Tailorbird (Orthotomus atrogularis nitidus) collecting fruits of the lalang grass (Imperata cylindrical) for its nest (above; field of lalang bottom). These fruits provide the floss that is probably incorporated with other plant materials as nest lining – seen in the nest of the Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) and the Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis), where there is a distinct lining of floss. As Yenchen... Read More

Common Iora eating praying mantis and caterpillar

08 Jun 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman
Common Iora eating praying mantis and caterpillar The Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia) is a yellow-green bird with two white wing bars. It is a common resident of parks, gardens, mangroves and open country. It hunts for insects and other arthropods high up in the canopy of trees. Prey items include mantids, ants, bees, caterpillars as well as an occasional butterfly/moth. It has also been recorded to take spiders. Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman documented the bird catching a praying mantis and bashing it against the branch where... Read More