• 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,...

Little Spiderhunter: Nectar from banana flowers

17 Jul 2008   in Feeding-plants 3 Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman
Little Spiderhunter: Nectar from banana flowers An earlier post gave an account of a Spectacled Spiderhunter (Arachnothera flavigaster) collecting nectar from the flowers of the banana plant (Musa) by Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman Now, he has photographed a Little Spiderhunter (A. longirostra) collecting nectar, also from banana flowers (above). NOTE: According to R Subaraj (see comment), the bird in the three images above is a Grey-breasted Spiderhunter (Arachnothera affinis). The images on the left shows a Little... Read More

Whimbrel in record migratory flight distance

16 Jul 2008   in Migration-Migrants, Waders 1 Comment »
Contributed by Joe McClain
Whimbrel in record migratory flight distance Whimbrels (Numenius phaeopus) are large brown waders with a prominent curved bill. These birds breed in the subarctic and arctic regions and winter south, moving to Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, as well as all the way down to the southern parts of South America and Africa. In Singapore it is a common winter visitor and passage migrant, as shown in the image above, taken at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. Researchers from the College of William and Mary’s... Read More

Dark-throated Oriole catching caterpillar

16 Jul 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Sandy Chian
The Dark-throated Oriole (Oriolus xanthonotus) is a resident of Malaysia but has disappeared from the Singapore scene. The bird is a generalist, taking fruits like figs and insects. In the above image by Sandy Chian, the oriole is seen picking a caterpillar from the branch of a tree. This post is a cooperative effort between www.naturepixels.org and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider... Read More

Yellow-vented Bulbul: A courtship behaviour

15 Jul 2008   in Courtship-Mating 4 Comments »
Contributed by YC
Yellow-vented Bulbul: A courtship behaviour On 14th June 2008, a pair of Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) suddenly arrived in my garden and perched on the branches of a tree. The vocalisation of the pair was unfamiliar. Usually, these bulbuls would make their familiar gurgling noises at their dawn chorus during certain periods of the year. These characteristic sounds can also be heard at other times of the day. But the sound I heard was new to me – crack-crack-crack, to be answered by... Read More

Chinese Bamboo-partridge along the road to Zhangjiajie, China

14 Jul 2008   in Illegal-Irresponsible 2 Comments »
Contributed by Roger Moo
Chinese Bamboo-partridge along the road to Zhangjiajie, China In many Asian countries, exotic wildlife attracts, not to view but to feast. Many eat exotic wildlife for various superstitious beliefs. And China was where Roger Moo a.k.a. cactus400D had his first encounter with the slaughter of the extremely beautiful Golden (Chrysolophus pictus) and Lady Amherst’s Pheasants (C. amherstiae) for food (above). It was on the road to Zhangjiajie in the province of Hunan that he encountered a row of shops offering these peasants as well as... Read More

What does a bee-eater do after a meal?

13 Jul 2008   in Bee-eaters, Comfort behaviour, Feathers-maintenance, Pellets 4 Comments »
Contributed by Liu Jianzhong
What does a bee-eater do after a meal? This was exactly what Liu Jianzhong a.k.a. Jz was thinking when he stalked a Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus) some weeks back – and documented what it did. The bee-eater had just had its fill of insects and glided with its wings flapping in slow motion to its favourite perch (above). There, it perched with its wings still held high for some time. Such characteristic “butterfly” display is not unusual among bee-eaters. Such a display sometimes end with... Read More

Golden Babbler catching stick insect

12 Jul 2008   in Feeding-vertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
Golden Babbler catching stick insect Adrian Lim a.k.a. wmw998 photographed a Golden Babbler (Stachyris chrysaea) in Peninsular Malaysia catching a phasmid (below). The bird had the stick insect’s head tightly clamped in its bill and bashed it against the branch. It then held the anterior end of the insect against the branch with its right foot and manipulated the other end with its bill in an effort to eat it. Very little is known of what food this babbler takes, besides ants, caterpillars and the occasional... Read More

Feet of the Common Coot

11 Jul 2008   in Morphology-Develop. 1 Comment »
Contributed by KC Tsang & Richard Carden
Feet of the Common Coot The Common Coot (Fulica atra) is a large bird that is generally quarrelsome. The charcoal plumage and flashy bill shield make it easy to recognise. The image above was taken by KC Tsang when he visited the London Wetland Centre in June 2008. Found frequently in still or slow-moving freshwaters, the coot is a fully aquatic bird. It takes to the air rather reluctantly but they are strong fliers, compared to others in the family. An unusual adaptation to its life in water is... Read More

Eurasian Sparrowhawk on webcam: Update

10 Jul 2008   in Nesting, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Dave Culley
Eurasian Sparrowhawk on webcam: Update Dave Culley recently sent images of the Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) nesting in his garden in Cheshire, England. He has been monitoring the pair for some time now. These images here are of the 2008 nesting. The brood of five chicks is seen above at 12 days old. The other image (below) shows the female sheltering the chicks from the rain. The female is just starting to hunt with the male, now that the chicks are older. Prior to this the male was hunting, bringing... Read More

Oriental Pied Hornbill breaking out of her nest

09 Jul 2008   in Hornbills, Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Eric Tan
Oriental Pied Hornbill breaking out of her nest Most birders know that the female hornbill seals herself inside a tree cavity when she is ready to lay her eggs. But how many have actually witnessed the hornbill breaking out of its cavity when the chicks inside are ready to leave the nest? Let alone document the stages? It has to be left to a photographer to undertake the assignment. Dr Eric Tan, an avid nature (bird) photographer, was at Pulau Ubin at the right time when the female Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros... Read More