• 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,...

A family of Pied Fantail

19 Aug 2008   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Lee Tiah Khee
A family of Pied Fantail Lee Tiah Khee managed to photograph a family of Pied Fantail (Rhipidura javanica) at the nest, something that is not an easy thing to do. Usually, as one adult arrives, the other flies off. The nest is a neat cup bound firmly onto the slender prongs of a near-horizontal branch fork. According to Wells (2007), the nest is made of bamboo leaves or lalang grass (Imperata cylindrical) and other dead leaves. On the outside of the nest are fungal hyphae, cobwebs and hairs. The... Read More

Nest decorated with plentiful silk/floss

18 Aug 2008   in Nests No Comments »
Contributed by YC
Nest decorated with plentiful silk/floss Tan Teo Seng recently sent me an old nest from his garden in Singapore. The nest looks very much like that of the Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) (above). It is a neat cup 10 cm diameter and 5 cm deep with a 5 cm diameter nest cavity, very much like any other bulbul’s nest (1, 2). There is one major difference in this nest. The rim of this nest is embellished thickly with whitish silk. The strands are tough and do not break easily, suggesting that it is not... Read More

Family of tailorbirds

17 Aug 2008   in Nesting 4 Comments »
Contributed by Tsen Thau Ming
Family of tailorbirds Tsen Thau Ming a.k.s t_tsen documented a family of tailorbirds in July 2008 at the Admiralty Park around Woodlands. He spent about three weeks, stalking the birds almost every morning, making use of a cameo hide and photographing with a long lens and not using flash so as not to unnecessarily stress the birds. The birds were nesting in the dense simpoh (Dillenia suffruticosa) undergrowth, using a large leaf to stitch together a pouch, inside which they constructed their... Read More

White-bellied Sea Eagle catching dead fish

16 Aug 2008   in Feeding-vertebrates 2 Comments »
Contributed by Eddie Lee Kam Pang
White-bellied Sea Eagle catching dead fish “Fresh fish is definitely a preferred food choice of the eagles. However, when food is scarce or an opportunity arises, it does not mind taking the second best. “This White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) was seen picking up a dead fish from the Bukit Panjang pond. Judging from the condition of the fish, it has got to be dead for some time, left floating on the surface of the water. This presented an irresistible offering to a hungry... Read More

Stork-billed Kingfisher catching another fish

15 Aug 2008   in Feeding strategy, Kingfishers 1 Comment »
Contributed by Kennie Pan
Stork-billed Kingfisher catching another fish This is another documentation of the Stork-billed Kingfisher (Halcyon capensis) catching a young Common Tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) by Kennie Pan. This fish is not native to the region but introduced for food. This is probably the most successful and widely distributed of the tilapias. The kingfisher was successful in catching this fish after three tries, diving at intervals of five to 20 minutes. The bird is often around Symphony Lake at the Singapore Botanic... Read More

Nesting of the Paddyfield Pipit

14 Aug 2008   in Feeding chicks, Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Nelson Khor
Nesting of the Paddyfield Pipit The Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus) is a common resident in Singapore and Malaysia (left). It is found in open fields, grasslands and parks. It builds The bird builds its nest at ground level, in a slight depression, lined with dried stems, grass and fibres. The near-circular top is slightly overgrown with vegetation, providing excellent camouflage. It is not often that the nest is located and photographed – Nelson Khor being one of the few and he is sharing his... Read More

Albino House Sparrow being fed by an adult bird

13 Aug 2008   in Feeding chicks 2 Comments »
Contributed by Cherylyn Straubmuller
Albino House Sparrow being fed by an adult bird In August 2008, Cherylyn Straubmuller wrote: “Recently, an albino chickadee has been coming to eat at our feeders in New Jersey, US. Although our camera isn’t the best, we have some great pictures of her, if you would like to see them. Her mate constantly takes care of her, feeding and grooming.” Subsequently, Cherylyn added: “The albino can fly well, however, it will land on the feeders but not feed from them. It has landed on the ground and pecked seed. This... Read More

BESG’s publications

12 Aug 2008   in uncategorised No Comments »
Contributed by - see article -
Since the formation of BESG in 2005, we have posted more than 800 items in this website. Such postings are informal. The almost immediate postings make observations readily available to whoever has access to a computer. However, website postings are unconventional as compared to publications in print media. There is thus a need to formalise observations so as to officially credit contributors. For this to be done, we need to compile and publish observations in print media or... Read More

Spotted Dove on a pot of mint: Final saga

11 Aug 2008   in Nesting, Pigeon-Dove No Comments »
Contributed by Opel Mok
Spotted Dove on a pot of mint: Final saga A pair of Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis) built a nest on top of Opel Mok’s pot of mint plant and laid one egg on 9th and another on 11th July 2008. The eggs hatched on 24th July . Most probably hatching was on different days and Opel would have missed seeing one of the adult flying off with the eggshell, as is usually the case. The above shows, from left, the adult with two eggs, two-days old and six-days old chicks. The adults took turns brooding the chicks and... Read More

Crimson Sunbird: Adult and juvenile male plumage

10 Aug 2008   in Morphology-Develop., Sunbirds 4 Comments »
Contributed by Choo Teik Ju
Crimson Sunbird: Adult and juvenile male plumage The male Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) is eye-catching because of its prominent crimson head, back, throat and upper breast. In a juvenile male bird, the crimson is not apparent until later when individual crimson feathers develop as the bird moults from a juvenal to a breeding plumage. As individual breeding feathers develop, the redness appears in scattered patches as seen in the image above (right) However, an adult male during the non-breeding period sheds most... Read More