• 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-wattled Lapwing defending its chick

10 Dec 2008   in Miscellaneous 2 Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee
Red-wattled Lapwing defending its chick While out photographing birds at Sungei Balang in nearby Johor, Malaysia recently, Johnny Wee had an exciting encounter with an aggressive Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus). There were no signs of any lapwings around, nesting or otherwise but obviously the nest was well hidden somewhere. Suddenly, shrill cries filled the air as one Red-wattled Lapwing flew directly at Johnny. The other bird was on the ground, crying loudly. It was then that the chick was spotted some... Read More

Grey-tailed Tattler

09 Dec 2008   in Waders No Comments »
Contributed by Foo Sai Khoon
Grey-tailed Tattler Foo Sai Khoon was at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on 20th November 2008 and sent in this: “I happened to be at Hide 1c (to look for the Nordmann’s Greenshank) in Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) when staff of SBWR was doing bird count yesterday evening (about 5pm). One of them spotted this gem among the waders. It the same bird that Mendis mentioned. I find it strange that under different lighting situations, the colour of the feathers looked different. The 3... Read More

Nesting saga of Peaceful Doves: Part 5 of 6

09 Dec 2008   in Nesting, Pigeon-Dove No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Nesting saga of Peaceful Doves: Part 5 of 6 A loud crash came from the direction of the mango fruit tree. A House Crow (Corvus splendens) had just launched a predatory assault on Lucky Dicky. He was left perched alone while parents were on foraging hunts. Lucky Dicky’s response was a quick release catapult flight, twenty feet away and he landed with a loud ‘thud’. I searched and found him motionless on the balcony worktop table (left). I stared at the predator in disbelief. The gang leader retracted and flew... Read More

Narcondam Hornbill: Addendum

08 Dec 2008   in Exotics, Hornbills 6 Comments »
Contributed by Summerian Turks, Joseph Lai & KC Tsang
Narcondam Hornbill: Addendum An extremely rare Narcondam Hornbill (Rhyticeros narcondami) that is confined to the Narcondam and Andaman Islands was photographed in early November 2008 at Singapore’s Bidadari Cemetery. This bird is obviously an escapee. After its sighting was posted, Joseph Lai was the first to respond, saying that he “saw this hornbill… flew overhead minutes before Minister Mah Bow Tan arrived at Sungei Buloh to officiate its inauguration as a Wetland Reserve (year... Read More

Drongo Cuckoo in Singapore

08 Dec 2008   in Species No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang, R Subaraj & Ben Lee
Drongo Cuckoo in Singapore KC Tsang photographed a Drongo Cuckoo (Surniculus lugubris) on 4th November 2008 at Singapore’s Neo Tiew Lane. This cuckoo is an uncommon resident and winter visitor. The resident supspecies is barussarum, whose range includes the Malay Peninsular, Sumatra and Borneo. Subspecies dicruroides that breeds throughout the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka, China, Southeast Asia to the Greater Sundas, Bali, the Philippines, Sulawesi to the Moluccas, is the visitor. The population... Read More

Nesting saga of Peaceful Doves: Part 4 of 6

07 Dec 2008   in Nesting, Pigeon-Dove No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Nesting saga of Peaceful Doves: Part 4 of 6 The black wizard number ‘13’ seems to hold truth to those who believe it to be an unlucky number. They would attest the day of reckoning to be of ‘bad luck.’ Thunder roared the night before, followed by another long night rainfall. Finally rains abated in the wee hours of the morning. A casually inspection through the Fieldscope at the nesting site was what I normally did from the balcony bedroom, before breakfast. I could not comprehend what I saw and looked harder... Read More

Promiscuity in birds

06 Dec 2008   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by YC
Promiscuity in birds It has been estimated that about 90% of all birds are socially monogamous. This is an arrangement in which a male and a female come together to rear their offspring. And since time immemorial, people have believed that such pairs show sexual fidelity. But are monogamous birds actually faithful to their partners? Birders have always noticed that many male birds keep watch over their female partners during the several days around egg-laying time. And ornithologists have... Read More

Black-capped Kingfisher

05 Dec 2008   in Kingfishers No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Black-capped Kingfisher The Black-capped Kingfisher (Halcyon pileata) was among a number of winter visitors sighted in October 2008 at the Chinese and Japanese Gardens in Jurong, Singapore. As KC Tsang noted, it can be easily located by following the direction the photographers’ long lenses are pointing. This is an uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. The records from 1985-2006 shows that the earliest arrival is 28th September and last being 18th May. The month of March sees the most... Read More

Nesting saga of Peaceful Doves: Part 3 of 6

05 Dec 2008   in Nesting, Pigeon-Dove No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Nesting saga of Peaceful Doves: Part 3 of 6 The daily transformation of Lucky Dicky and Little Jo evolving in stages was simply remarkable through the Fieldscope, in providing magnificent and magnifying views to captivate an observer’s eye, with anatomical details that painted a thousand words. Here are 12 presentation images of Lucky Dicky and Little Jo. 10th day: Loss of straggly white hairs on the crown noted. Upper coverts revealed darker wavering black patterns on brown plumages. The rest of Lucky Dicky’s... Read More

Portrait of a bird: Red-crowned Barbet

04 Dec 2008   in Barbet-To'can-H'guide No Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee, Chan Yoke Meng & YC.
Portrait of a bird: Red-crowned Barbet Like most barbets, the Red-crowned Barbet (Megalaima rafflesii) is brightly coloured (left top). It has a green body and a striking head colouration of blue, black, yellow and red. The juvenile tends to be duller, with a less defined head pattern, becoming brighter with maturity. The bill is characteristically stout and pointed with long rictal bristles that project from the base of the bill (left bottom). The neck is characteristically short and their feet are strong and... Read More