• 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,...

Red-breasted Parakeet and African Tulip seeds

24 Oct 2007   in Feeding-plants, Plants 2 Comments »
Contributed by Mark Chua;
Red-breasted Parakeet and African Tulip seeds The Red-breasted Parakeet (Psittacula alexandri) has been documented by Mark Chua eating the seeds of the African tulip tree (Spathodea campanulata) (above). This is another example of an exotic bird eating fruits/seeds of an exotic plant. The earlier example is of the Tanimbar Corella (Cacatua goffini) eating the fruits of the starfruit tree (Averrhoa carambola) (1, 2). In the case of both the exotic parrots, they have managed to exploit a food niche that has been... Read More

Sunbird and flowerpecker: Pollinating mistletoe flowers

22 Oct 2007   in Feeding-plants, Sunbirds 1 Comment »
Contributed by YC
Sunbird and flowerpecker: Pollinating mistletoe flowers Dendrophthoe pentandra is a common mistletoe plant that is semi-parasitic on wayside trees (above left). The mistletoe is spread by flowerpeckers and sunbirds that eat the fruits and excrete the sticky seeds when perching on the branches of shrubs and trees. These seeds are excreted stuck together, as the gummy covering that originally covered the seeds remain intact when passing through the digestive tract. Now what do these birds do? Some simply wipe their bottoms against... Read More

Birds, bats and a tembusu sprig

21 Oct 2007   in Feeding-plants, Interspecific No Comments »
Contributed by - see article -
Early one morning I found a fresh sprig of tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) with ripe berries still attached, on the top of my car’s boot (left). The car was parked under the porch with the rear end jutting out near to where one of my ceram palms (Rhopaloblaste ceramica) grow. The... Read More

A time for reflection…

19 Oct 2007   in Reports No Comments »
Contributed by - see article -
A time for reflection… It has been two years since the Bird Ecology Study Group was formally constituted. The group’s blog has all along been highlighting various aspects of bird behaviour. To date, there are more than 500 posts involving 27 broad categories from feeding to nesting to inter-specific interactions. Thanks to the willingness of photographers, birders and the nature loving public at large to share observations and images, the blog has developed into what it is today. Join us in... Read More

Asian Koel: First recorded begging-call mimicry

18 Oct 2007   in Vocalisation 1 Comment »
Contributed by Erik Mobrand & Prof R B Payne
Asian Koel: First recorded begging-call mimicry On 7th October 2007, Erik Mobrand wrote: “For the past few weeks we have had two noisy koels outside our window regularly. What is striking is that these individuals (a female and a male, perhaps juvenile) do not make the typical koel call. Instead, they have this hoarse squawk, which we hear many times during the day – not just at dawn and dusk, when we usually hear koels. “What is going on? Do young koels try to imitate the House Crows they grew up with? The call... Read More

Grey Heron fishing: The one that didn’t get away

16 Oct 2007   in Feeding-vertebrates, Heron-Egret-Bittern 1 Comment »
Contributed by Lee Tiah Khee
Grey Heron fishing: The one that didn't get away The Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) is found around waters, be they fresh, brackish or salt. You can usually see them near rivers, lakes, marshes, mudflats, mangroves and rice fields. The bird feeds mainly on fish, although it also takes aquatic insects, amphibians, reptiles, some birds and even small rodents. Its feeding time varies with location, either during the day (morning and evening) or at night or around dusk. It is usually a solitary feeder, fiercely defending its... Read More

A celebration of birds

15 Oct 2007   in Reports 4 Comments »
Contributed by YC
A celebration of birds Today is Blog Action Day. All bloggers have been encouraged to set aside this day to write something on a specific theme: Environment. BESG is celebrating Blog Action Day with a montage showcasing some of the birds that can be seen in a typical urban area – a downtown mini park, the planted areas around a cluster of high-rise apartment blocks, your very own private little garden or the garden around your condominium. Singapore’s urban areas are alive with birds and... Read More

Ruddy Turnstone and bird ringing

14 Oct 2007   in Migration-Migrants 1 Comment »
Contributed by KC Tsang, David Li, David Bakewell & Ashley Ng
Ruddy Turnstone and bird ringing On 5th September, KC Tsang reported: “I was at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) this late morning, not very productive as most of the dried ponds were empty of waders, maybe as a result of the tide being low and the birds had gone somewhere else to look for food. There were five Painted Storks, one Milky, one Large-tail Nightjar, usual tailorbirds, one Pied Fantail… “No Common Kingfisher, no Asiatic Dowitcher… “…found this one solitary Ruddy... Read More

Black-shouldered Kite: Mating

12 Oct 2007   in Courtship-Mating 8 Comments »
Contributed by - see article -
Black-shouldered Kite: Mating On the morning of 5th August 2007, Chan Yoke Meng succeeded in recording a series of images of a pair of Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) in the act of copulation. The female bird was perching at the top of a vertical dead stem of a tree when the male flew in from behind (above). Wings fully stretched, tail feathers fanned and talons at the ready, he landed on her back (below). The moment he grasped her back with his talons, she crouched low with wings extending... Read More

Flowerpecker excreting mistletoe seeds

10 Oct 2007   in Waste No Comments »
Contributed by Chan Yoke Meng
Flowerpecker excreting mistletoe seeds In an earlier post, Angie Ng described in detail how a male Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum) deposited a string of sticky seeds on her sui mei (Wrightia religiosa) plant thus: “After comfortably positioning itself transversely across the branch, it turned its head… then it awkwardly stretched apart its legs, lowered its little body for a second or two and with a swagger, it moved a few steps to the left. With that quick swaggering action it wiped off a... Read More