• 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,...

Collared Kingfiher: A nesting in the making

14 Mar 2009   in Kingfishers, Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Mike Tan
Collared Kingfiher: A nesting in the making Mike Tan stumbled upon a pair of Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris) excavating a cavity in a dead tree stump in February 2009. Obviously he is anticipating the pair to start a family soon. We are anticipating further observations in the near... Read More

Of nesting shiftwork and Coppersmith Barbets (Part 4)

13 Mar 2009   in Barbet-To'can-H'guide, Interspecific, Nesting, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Of nesting shiftwork and Coppersmith Barbets (Part 4) Generally, resident and territorial birds have their own favourite perches and the Coppersmith Barbets (Megalaima haemacephala) are no different. Nightshift bird on ending shift darted off and headed for its favourite perch- the Albizia (Paraserianthes falcataria) tree and wasted no time to begin a session of stretch and yoga exercises, after a long night, cramped in the nesting cavity (below). Bathed in morning light, and inhaled the fresh air of the morning, the shift... Read More

Paddyfield Pipit catching centipede

12 Mar 2009   in Feeding-invertebrates 2 Comments »
Contributed by Choo Teik Ju
Paddyfield Pipit catching centipede Choo Teik Ju’s image of a Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus) with a centipede in its bill was taken in February 2009. This pipit is a common resident in open fields, short grassy areas and parks in Singapore. It feeds on arthropods that it catches by running at and picking from the soil and low vegetation. Its food is reported by Tyler (2004) to be mainly adult and larval insects. Stomach contents include weevils, ants, bugs, termites, spiders, seeds and vegetable matters.... Read More

Oriental Pied Hornbill eating soursop fruit

11 Mar 2009   in Feeding-plants, Hornbills No Comments »
Contributed by Tan Teo Seng
Oriental Pied Hornbill eating soursop fruit Over in the neighbouring Malaysian state of Johor, Tan Teo Seng reports that he regularly sees the Oriental Pied Hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris) eating the soursop fruits (Annona muricata). Teo Seng has a number of these trees in his fruit farm in Kota Tinggi and seldom gets to harvest the fruits. The hornbills always beat him to them. However, he manages to beat the hornbills to the papaya (Carica papaya). The birds always visit the about-to-ripe fruits and make... Read More

Escapee Palm Cockatoo sighted

10 Mar 2009   in Exotics 3 Comments »
Contributed by Eric Pooi
Escapee Palm Cockatoo sighted A Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus) was sighted at Upper Seletar by Eric Pooi a.k.a. ericp in early March 2009. According to Eric, this is clearly an escapee, as “…there is a broken chain on his leg… hopefully it can survived in Singapore… Notice its wings were badly damaged though flying is still not a problem…” Palm Cockatoo is an impressive bird in its all black plumage and spectacular crest of back-curving crest of narrow, elongated feathers. There is a... Read More

Moulting of a male Black-throated Sunbird

09 Mar 2009   in Feathers-maintenance 1 Comment »
Contributed by Adrian Lim & R Subaraj
Moulting of a male Black-throated Sunbird Adrian Lim a.k.a. wmw998 photographed a Black-throated Sunbird (Aethopyga saturata) in Peninsular Malaysia in August 2008. What attracted his attention was the presence of a small red patch on its side and a blue patch near the base of the tail area (above). These colourful patches suggested to Adrian that the bird was in the process of changing into its breeding plumage. Our bird specialist, R Subaraj has this to say: “Yes! You are correct. Both are young birds... Read More

Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher: Fright moult?

08 Mar 2009   in Feathers-maintenance, Kingfishers 8 Comments »
Contributed by KN Pan, Tan Gim Cheong, Wang Luan Keng & Calvin Chang
Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher: Fright moult? The arrival of the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher (Cyex erithacus) to Singapore during February-March 2009 provided opportunities for birdwatchers to view and photographer to document this uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. It was KN Pan who first highlighted an Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher with a slightly bald patch on its head (left). Apparently some of its head feathers were absent, giving rise to speculation that it probably was attacked on the head. Subsequently to... Read More

Crested Kingfisher

07 Mar 2009   in Kingfishers No Comments »
Contributed by Mark Chua
Crested Kingfisher Mark Chua documented a Crested Kingfisher (Megaceryle lugubris) when he visited Corbett National Park in India recently (left). This attractive kingfisher is easily recognised from its shaggy crest when at rest. The upper body is barred black and white and has a white collar. Its typical habitat is small, fast-flowing, gravelly or rocky streams. It hovers (below right) but does not dive from such flight, unlike the Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis). . References: 1. Fry, C.H.... Read More

Forest birds

07 Mar 2009   in Kingfishers, Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Marcus Ng
Forest birds “The sub-adult Black-backed Kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca) that frequents one of the Central Reserves boardwalk trails isn’t the only bird of interest in the area (above left). A little further down, the trail forms a hairpin that encircles a streamlet which flows into the reservoir. There, another black-backed kingfisher is known to appear, but at later hours and only for a brief period. With another photographer, I saw it perching on a branch above the water and... Read More

Of nesting shift duties and Coppersmith Barbets (Part 3)

06 Mar 2009   in Barbet-To'can-H'guide, Nesting 1 Comment »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Of nesting shift duties and Coppersmith Barbets (Part 3) It is going to be a long day for Dayshift bird. Change of shift duties was observed to be carried out by the parenting pair only in the mornings. That means each parent bird is putting in a 24hour shift work! Any Avian Labour Laws? Dayshift bird would be seen taking in strides regularly by announcing its arrival to the awaiting Nightshift with subtle ‘tok-tok’ calls; in clockwork about precision time and perched 15 feet away. Two monitored calls showed arrival times... Read More