• 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,...

Orange-bellied Leafbird taking fruits

18 Jan 2009   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
Orange-bellied Leafbird taking fruits Adrian Lim documented an Orange-bellied Leafbird (Chloropsis hardwickii) from Awana, Malaysia eating the fruits of (?) Macaranga ginantea. This bird is a common resident of the lower and upper montane forests of Peninsular Malaysia. It is seen in the forest canopy and forest edge, entering secondary forests and other wooded areas, parks and gardens within the altitude range. It feeds on insects, flower nectar and a wide range of fruits. Wells (2007) reports that it... Read More

Birds of Sungei Balang, Peninsular Malaysia

18 Jan 2009   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Birds of Sungei Balang, Peninsular Malaysia “To my knowledge, Sungei Balang is about the southernmost paddy field area in Peninsula Malaysia, in the state of Johore. The place is called Parit Yusof, and is about 20 minutes out of the town Batu Pahat. “Paddy fields are great birding areas, except that there are hardly any shelter from the hot morning or afternoon sun. In the mornings, when the sun is not shining down on us, we would be walking on the bunds of the fields looking for snipes, different types of... Read More

Olive-backed Sunbird robbing hibiscus nectar

17 Jan 2009   in Feeding-plants 6 Comments »
Contributed by BK Lim
Olive-backed Sunbird robbing hibiscus nectar The origin of the hibiscus is not known but Keng (1990) believes that it probably originates from China. The pollinating agent is reported to be the hummingbird. In the tropics the hummingbird is represented by the sunbird. But sunbirds are not adapted for hibiscus pollination. BK Lim photographed an Olive-Backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) as it was in the process of robbing a hibiscus flower (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) of its nectar in an unconventional way. To get at the... Read More

Last waltz with a noisy pitta

16 Jan 2009   in Morphology-Develop., Species No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Last waltz with a noisy pitta Pittas are such enigmatic, ground dwelling bird species that birders simply find irresistible to ignore. Despite their colourful plumages, they are not easily seen when remained quietly perched at low branching and roosting spots. Four species visit Australia, but only two have found permanent residence in NW coastal Northern Territory and the eastern seaboard of Australia. To be realistic and a lucky chance to view one…. just one, I would go for the Noisy Pitta (Pitta... Read More

Little Tern taking a bath

15 Jan 2009   in Feathers-maintenance 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dr Johathan Cheah Weng Kwong
Little Tern taking a bath Dr Johathan Cheah Weng Kwong was tern-watching in August 2006, making observations on a breeding colony of Little Terns (Sterna albifrons) in the north of Singapore when he took a picture of an adult bathing. It was a hot day and the bird was in the water splashing its wings about to get the feathers wet. It was obviously bathing. But then it may also be cooling its chicks. According to Gochfeld & Burger (1996), “Terns not infrequently alight on the water to bathe,... Read More

Birds along the lower slopes of Mount Faber, Singapore

15 Jan 2009   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Ilsa Sharp & R Subaraj
Birds along the lower slopes of Mount Faber, Singapore “I was a resident on the lower slopes of Mount Faber facing the former World Trade Centre (Harbour Front) for the almost 20 years between 1979 and 1998, almost 20 years, in Marang Road near the Seah Im Food Centre and carpark. Now that I commute in and out of Singapore from my new base in Perth, Western Australia, I often stay with my friend in almost exactly the same location, at Seah Im Road. On my most recent visit, for the first three weeks of December 2008, I was... Read More

Distraction tactic of a Red-wattled Lapwing

14 Jan 2009   in Nesting 2 Comments »
Contributed by Foo Sai Khoon
Distraction tactic of a Red-wattled Lapwing In November 2008, Foo Sia Khoon was in Sungei Balang, Johore, Malaysia when he encountered a family of Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus). “We saw a good number of Red-wattled Lapwing in Sg Balang, Malaysia but they would constantly keep their distance away from us. Except this one, its body language seemed to be trying to draw us towards its direction (which is in the paddy field). We were in a car on the so-called “main road”, so it was not as though we could... Read More

Pacific Reef Egret: A fish too large to handle

14 Jan 2009   in Feeding-vertebrates, Heron-Egret-Bittern No Comments »
Contributed by Subaraj Rajathurai
Pacific Reef Egret: A fish too large to handle “On a recent visit to Singapore’s Cyrene Reef, I counted 5 white phased and 3 dark phased Pacific Reef Egrets (Egretta sacra) foraging on the exposed coral rubble and seagrass lagoons. This species will carefully stroll along until it spots a potential prey. It would then take a few quick but bouncy steps toward the prey, with it’s head tilted to one side. When it is close enough, it would stab its bill at the prey. “One particular dark-phased individual... Read More

Peregrine Falcon preying on a Javan Myna

13 Jan 2009   in Feeding-vertebrates, Raptors 1 Comment »
Contributed by Mark Chua
Peregrine Falcon preying on a Javan Myna On November 2008, Mark Chua was at Singapore’s Japanese Garden in Jurong when he documented a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) feasting on a Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus). The bird was having its dinner from 5 to 7 pm. Peregrine Falcon feeds mainly on birds. In the Northern Hemisphere more than 300 species of birds are known to have been taken by this raptor. Here, mynas have been mostly seen caught by the falcon but surely other species would be caught as well.... Read More

Hoopoe foraging and in warning mode

13 Jan 2009   in Feeding strategy 1 Comment »
Contributed by Allan Teo
Hoopoe foraging and in warning mode Allan Teo was in India recently and returned with images of Hoopoe (Upupa epops) behaviour. Hoopoes are seen in open areas, including woodlands, cultivated areas and gardens. There is only a single species but nine subspecies, seen in Africa, Madagascar, Asia to parts of Southeast Asia. It has been recorded in Malaysia as a vagrant. The bird feeds on large insects and their larvae and pupae found in the soft ground. Small vertebrates like lizards, snakes, frogs and geckos... Read More