• 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,...

Chinese Pond Heron and its status

25 Mar 2008   in Heron-Egret-Bittern 13 Comments »
Contributed by YC
Chinese Pond Heron and its status In March 2007, the appearance of a Javan Pond Heron (Ardeola speciosa) in Darwin, Australia, had Aussie twitchers in a flap. The bird was apparently blown in from Indonesia with Cyclone George and subsequently took up residency in the northern suburbs. News of its presence spread quickly and twitchers from all corners of Australia flew in for a glimpse. This year, also in March, the Javan Pond Heron was sighted at Singapore’s Lorong Halus (left). As expected, the... Read More

A confrontation between two male sunbirds

24 Mar 2008   in Interspecific, Sunbirds 1 Comment »
Contributed by YC
A confrontation between two male sunbirds On the evening of 23rd October 2007 I was attracted by the loud and high pitch cries of a sunbird in my backyard. The bird was firing off a series of chic-chic-chwee, chic-chic-chwee, chic-chic-chwee… The cries came in the direction of my curry-leaf tree (Murraya koenigii). Being a tiny bird, it took me some time to locate it. And locate it I did. It was a male Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) and it was moving about the branches in a highly restless manner and... Read More

Black-naped Oriole manipulating the Banana Skipper

23 Mar 2008   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-invertebrates 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dr Redzlan Abdul Rahman
Black-naped Oriole manipulating the Banana Skipper Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis) eats a broad range of fruits. It also takes insects like grasshoppers, mantids, large caterpillars and hornet grubs. And of course bird nestlings. Dr Redzlan Abdul Rahman documented the oriole manipulating the rolled up portions of banana (Musa) leaves that contain the caterpillars of the Banana Skipper (Erionota thrax). The Banana Skipper is a large brown butterfly with large yellow spots on the forewings above. The adult is seldom... Read More

Oriental White-eye taking a bath

22 Mar 2008   in Feathers-maintenance No Comments »
Contributed by Harshit Singhal
Oriental White-eye taking a bath Harshit Singhal is a young birder from India who sent in this account of his observation on 15th March 2008. “I have kept a 3 inch deep bath tub on the ground just besides the 
guava tree (Psidium guajava) and birds such as fantail flycatcher, Jungle babbler (Turdoides striata), Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) have often been seen bathing in it. “But on 10th March, an Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) perched on the guava tree and then hesitantly moved... Read More

Javan Myna chick: 4. Predated

21 Mar 2008   in Interspecific, Rescue 8 Comments »
Contributed by YC
Javan Myna chick: 4. Predated On 6th March 2008, the rescued Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) chick was under care for a total of 14 days. It has been eating regularly, in fact every two to three hours except at night when it was placed in an enclosed cardboard box that was kept indoors. The wing feathers were fully developed and the chick was exercising its wings regularly. But it was not ready to fly. It was even not confident of jumping down from the piece of wood I placed on top of the box when... Read More

Brahminy Kite eating on the wing

20 Mar 2008   in Feeding strategy No Comments »
Contributed by Myron Tay
Brahminy Kite eating on the wing Myron Tay was at Changi recently when he noticed a couple of Brahminy Kites (Haliastur indus) flying above (above left). On zooming in with his camers, he noticed one of the kites had a prey firmly clutched in its talons. What interested Myron was that the bird was taking bites off the prey from time to time (above right). The food of the Brahminy Kite includes fish, crustaceans, amphibians, reptiles, birds, small mammals and even insects. According to Ferguson-Lees &... Read More

Nests of Greater and Lesser Racquet-tailed Drongos

19 Mar 2008   in Nests No Comments »
Contributed by Morten Strange & YC
Nests of Greater and Lesser Racquet-tailed Drongos Drongo nests are fragile-looking structures built around a fork of a branch of a tree. It is a shallow cup made up of plant materials that can include pliable stems that include grass and creepers, fibres, tendrils, leaf skeletons Wells (2007) has reported on the nests of a few species. The nest of one Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus) was camouflaged on the outside with lichens and bryophytes and felted with cobwebs. Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradisus) is... Read More

Encountering a raptor in the heartland

18 Mar 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates, Raptors 1 Comment »
Contributed by Ms Koh & R Subaraj
Encountering a raptor in the heartland Ms Koh had an exciting encounter with a large raptor in a highrise housing area in Jurong West in March 2008: “I was walking out to the bus stop (about 10am) from my flat in Jurong West when suddenly a bird with a large wing span (at least one metre in total) swooped past me. I saw a magnificent brown eagle perched up the tree, in the rain. “I was so excited that I ran back home three blocks away, got my camera, ran back, and took… [a] photo… (from ground... Read More

Javan Myna chick: 3. Bathing

17 Mar 2008   in Feathers-maintenance, Rescue 3 Comments »
Contributed by YC & Jeremy Lee
Javan Myna chick: 3. Bathing Today (3rd March), the rescued Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) chick has been under care for 11 days (see 1, 2). The feathers are more than a bit dirty, stained with food flicked from the bill and my failure to always place food properly into the gape. Inside the box where it was kept, it apparently did not continue to preen itself. So I placed it on a dish of water hoping it would take a bath (below). This was suggested by Jeremy Lee, who wrote earlier:... Read More

Another heron entangled by a discarded fishing line

16 Mar 2008   in Heron-Egret-Bittern, Illegal-Irresponsible 4 Comments »
Contributed by Choo Teik Ju
Another heron entangled by a discarded fishing line On 10th March 2008, Choo Teik Ju was disturbed to find a dead heron dangling from the branch of a tree in the Marsh Garden at West Coast Park (left). One of its wings was entangled by a discarded fishing line, no doubt left by an irresponsible amateur angler. Teik Ju visits the park almost every weekend to jog and bird watch. Invariably he found the areas around the Marsh Garden littered with discarded fishing lines. Many were dangling from the branches of trees and these... Read More