• 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,...

Oriental Pratincole: Adult and juvenile

26 Sep 2008   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Nelson Khor
Oriental Pratincole: Adult and juvenile In June 2008 Nelson Khor posted images of the adult Oriental Pratincole (Glareola maldivarum) in breeding plumage and a juvenile, and commented that it: “Is common in Penang and Kedah in Malaysia, once they arrive, immediately they start nesting, when the juvenile are grown, they will start to move on and back to their home…” The image of the juvenile above shows it stretching its right foot and wing at the same time. This appears to be a favourite comfort behaviour... Read More

Indian Silverbills reusing Baya Weaver nests

25 Sep 2008   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Ashwini Vaidya
Indian Silverbills reusing Baya Weaver nests From India comes a note from Ashwini Vaidya, on the preference of the Indian Silverbill (Lonchura malabarica) for old weaver nests. “I have been following BESG for a while and find it really interesting. Sending my picture of Indian Silverbills occupying a Baya Weaver’s nest. They were abandoned, half completed nests and this is the second time I have seen Silverbills occupying nests made by weavers. The picture was taken in Hyderabad, India.“ Earlier in January... Read More

Brood care in Malkoha: A collaboration with a photographer

24 Sep 2008   in Photography No Comments »
Contributed by - see article -
Brood care in Malkoha: A collaboration with a photographer In my earlier post on the changing face of birding in Singapore, I lamented on the lack of bird behaviour observations made by local birders during the last few decades – a result of excessive twitching and listing. I also mentioned that bird photographers are currently at the forefront of behavioural studies. I was thus pleasantly surprised when I found out about the latest publication on the brooding care of the Chestnut-bellied Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus sumatranus)... Read More

Changing face of birding in Singapore

23 Sep 2008   in Reports No Comments »
Contributed by YC
Changing face of birding in Singapore The above paper has just been published. A PDF copy is available HERE. Birding can be said to have originated in mid-1960s when British birders mist-netted and ringed birds as part of the Migratory Animal Pathological Survey that was then based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The survey was scientific in nature, and the activity yielded important information on bird migration, breeding and moulting data. When the survey ended, Ng Soon Chye continued ringing activities at the old... Read More

Bird plant: White-stemmed button vine, Cissus hastate

22 Sep 2008   in Plants 8 Comments »
Contributed by YC
Bird plant: White-stemmed button vine, Cissus hastate The white-stemmed button vine (Cissus hastate) is a herbaceous plant with 4-angled stem that is narrowly winged (left). It climbs with the help of its reddish tendrils, scrambling over low vegetation and tall trees, to dangle down from the high branches. The leaves are simple, with an arrow-shaped base that narrows to a pointed tip. The small flowers are in bunches borne along the stem, developing into round berries that turn black on ripening. Fruiting is profuse,... Read More

Brown-capped Woodpecker chick fell from its nest

21 Sep 2008   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Lee Tiah Khee
Brown-capped Woodpecker chick fell from its nest In early August 2008, Lee Tiah Khee witnessed something most birders fail to notice. He was monitoring a pair of Brown-capped Woodpecker (Dendrocopos moluccensis), also known as Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, when he saw the chick fell out of the nesting cavity (left top). It was around noon when this unfortunate incident happened. One of the adult responded but there was nothing it could do. The chick tried flying but ended on the ground below the nest (left bottom). The adults... Read More

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo catching praying mantis

20 Sep 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Myron Tay
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo catching praying mantis “Just sharing a picture of a Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradisus) with his breakfast – a praying mantis. It was captured after a spectacular mid-air battle between the predator and prey.” Like other drongos, this bird is basically an insectivore – a sallying, substrate-gleaning... Read More

Sighting of the Pacific Reef Egret

19 Sep 2008   in Reports, uncategorised No Comments »
Contributed by - see article -
Sighting of the Pacific Reef Egret The Pacific Reef Egret (Egretta sacra), also known as Eastern Reef-egret, is an uncommon resident in Singapore. It has been spotted on and off in storm canals, rivers, mangroves, etc. over the past years. On 31st August the egret was again spotted foraging in a canal and photographed by Mark Chua. This egret is polymorphic, with white and dark grey morphs. The bird spotted is obviously a dark grey morph. It feeds alone or in pairs, by day or night depending on the tide.... Read More

Sighting of the Pacific Reef Egret

19 Sep 2008   in Heron-Egret-Bittern No Comments »
Contributed by - see article -
The Pacific Reef Egret (Egretta sacra), also known as Eastern Reef-egret, is an uncommon resident in Singapore. It has been spotted on and off in storm canals, rivers, mangroves, etc. over the past years. On 31st August the egret was again spotted foraging in a canal and photographed by Mark Chua. This egret is polymorphic, with white and dark grey morphs. The bird spotted is obviously a dark grey morph. It feeds alone or in pairs, by day or night depending on the tide.... Read More

Publications of the Bird Ecology Study Group

18 Sep 2008   in Reports No Comments »
Contributed by YC
Publications of the Bird Ecology Study Group This site gives an updated list of publications that have direct or indirect relevance to this weblog since its inception in 2005. Now why publish? Postings in the weblog make observations readily available to anyone with a computer. However, such postings tend to be rather informal. There is thus a need to compile relevant postings and formally publish them, as far as possible, in scientific journals. Why? These have credibility in terms of scientific content that magazines... Read More