• 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,...

Bat Hawk: Predator of bats

04 Oct 2007   in Feeding-vertebrates, Raptors 2 Comments »
Contributed by YC
Bat Hawk: Predator of bats The Bat Hawk (Macheiramphus alcinus) is a raptor found in the sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, Malay Peninsular, Sumatra, Banka, Borneo, Sulawesi and New Guinea. The bird is a rare visitor to Singapore. This is a fairly large black hawk with a distinct crest (left). It is often not noticed because it is active only at night. During the day it perches quietly, almost horizontally on the branch of a tall tree, seldom leaving, even for a short while. It becomes active at dusk... Read More

Radjah Shelduck, a new duck around the lakes

03 Oct 2007   in Exotics 4 Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang & Tang Hung Bun
Radjah Shelduck, a new duck around the lakes On 9th June 2006, Tang Hung Bun captured an image of a duck perching atop a street lamp along Bukit Timah Road, near Raffles Town Club. The white duck has a brown back and wing tips and a rusty band across its breast. Its legs, feet, bill and eyes are pinkish. This duck is new to Singapore. KC Tsang helped identify it as Radjah Shelduck (Tadorna radjah), also known as Burdekin Duck, from the Northern Australian coast and parts of Indonesia. For at least a year, if not... Read More

Black Eagle: First breeding record in Malaysia

01 Oct 2007   in Nesting, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Chiu Sein Chiong & Lim Kim Chye
Black Eagle: First breeding record in Malaysia On 21 March 2003, Chiu Sein Chiong, Ooi Beng Yean & Cheang Kum Seng successfully located a Black Eagle (Ictinaetus malayensis) nest containing a well-developed young (left). The nest was found in lower montane forest at about 1360 m asl at Pos Slim, Perak. As far as we are aware, this discovery constitutes the first nesting and breeding record for this species in Malaysia. The following is an account of the chain of events that led to this exciting discovery. The... Read More

Banded Woodpecker: Feeding and preening

29 Sep 2007   in Feathers-maintenance, Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by - see article -
Banded Woodpecker: Feeding and preening An earlier post describes how an adult Banded Woodpecker (Picus miniaceus) collected ants from an umbrella tree (Schefflera actinophylla) to feed its recently fledged chick. The woodpecker was back recently (left). I am not sure whether it was the earlier adult or the grown up fledgling that returned on the morning of 11th September 2007. It was a cloudy morning, the sky appearing threatening. But there was no rain. I detected movements in the umbrella tree. It was the... Read More

Painted Jezebel: Distasteful to birds?

28 Sep 2007   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by YC
Painted Jezebel: Distasteful to birds? Butterflies and their caterpillars are regular a food for birds. The former are usually caught and their wings removed as they are thrashed left and right or by hitting them against a branch. Caterpillars, on the other hand, are handled differently. The larger ones are moved through the bill to remove their gut contents. Hairy caterpillars are thrashed on the branch, again to remove the gut contents. Apparently, the irritating hairs are swallowed with the de-gutted... Read More

Collared Kingfisher: Protective instinct

27 Sep 2007   in Interspecific, Kingfishers 2 Comments »
Contributed by Chan Yoke Meng
Collared Kingfisher: Protective instinct Most birds will try their best to distract potential predators from their nests, usually by feigning injury as seen with the Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) and Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus). The Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) has its very own strategy. Others birds will actively attack intruders and the Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris) is one of these (above). In an encounter by Chan Yoke Meng at a locations where nesting was... Read More

Hill Myna stealing an egg

26 Sep 2007   in Feeding-vertebrates 2 Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Hill Myna stealing an egg On 18th September 2007, KC Tsang wrote: “I was at Upper Seletar this morning, and a flock of screaming Hill Mynas (Gracula religiosa) descended on a bare tree. There were about 15 of them, so wondering what the commotion was about, went nearer to the flock. “Found that one of them had an egg between its bill, managed to take a picture of it, the bird with egg is at the top left hand corner (above left, arrow). And the next moment the myna lost the egg, the second... Read More

Leaf bathing: Striped Tit Babbler

25 Sep 2007   in Feathers-maintenance No Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee
Leaf bathing: Striped Tit Babbler A Striped Tit Babbler (Macronous gularis) was recently seen taking a leaf bath after a slight shower during a hot day along Venus Drive (left). We have earlier documented the Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis) taking a leaf bath as well as other species like Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier), Orange-bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma) and Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius). All these are smallish birds. I suppose small birds easily fit into... Read More

“Hole-in-One” Barbet

23 Sep 2007   in Barbet-To'can-H'guide, Nests No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
“Hole-in-One” Barbet How long does it take for a cavity nester to excavate and complete a nesting area, fitted to size, before commencing to bring forth and to propagate their species? A few hours? A few days? In SE Asia alone, there are 42 species of Woodpeckers (Picidae), 16 species of Barbets (Megalaimidae) and 12 species of Hornbills (Bucerotidae) that are mainly cavity nesters. Each species has its own peculiar style in terms of size, shape and tidiness of their nesting cavities. Some have... Read More

Brahminy Kite: Competition for food

22 Sep 2007   in Feeding chicks 3 Comments »
Contributed by Lee Tiah Khee
Brahminy Kite: Competition for food In the avian world, it is the law of the jungle, the survival of the fittest. The larger and stronger bird always bullies the smaller and weaker, especially where food is concerned. There are exceptions of course, where smaller (but not too small) birds can be more aggressive and attack larger but more timid birds. Also, the mature birds are usually stronger and more experienced than the immature. This is seen in the image sent in by Lee Tiah Khee, where an adult Brahminy... Read More