• 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,...

An Oriental Scops Owl came for a visit

04 Dec 2008   in Owls 1 Comment »
Contributed by Melissa Ong
An Oriental Scops Owl came for a visit Melissa Ong was ecstatic when she learnt that her mom had a close encounter with an owl. It was 8.30am on Sunday 30th November 2008 when her mom called her and whispered, “There’s an owl in my bouganvillea!” Her mom was then watering her plants and felt there was something small and dark staring at her. The owl was a rare Oriental Scops Owl (Otus sunia), roosting in the bougainvillea plant. What is unusual is that her garden is the corridor fronting her... Read More

Nesting saga of Peaceful Doves: Part 2 of 6

03 Dec 2008   in Nesting, Parrots, Pigeon-Dove, Raptors, Roosting 1 Comment »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Nesting saga of Peaceful Doves: Part 2 of 6 A walk through the driveway, passed the nesting site, I resisted looking at the source of a soft ‘coo’ coming from my right direction. It was late afternoon. I made a bee-line for my top garden balcony which hangs about 30 feet from the Christmas tree. By looking through gaps of the mango fruit tree, it provided near eye level views of the nesting site. A quick look into my binoculars confirmed a nesting parent dove with a partially hidden chick, half obscured by the... Read More

Peregrine Falcon feasting on a White-vented Myna

02 Dec 2008   in Feeding-vertebrates, Heron-Egret-Bittern, Migration-Migrants, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by David Tan
Peregrine Falcon feasting on a White-vented Myna David Tan documented a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) consuming a White-vented Myna (Acridotheres grandis) on the morning of 24th November 2008 at Singapore’s Japanese Gardens. He missed seeing the falcon catching the myna but saw it tear at the myna’s wing feathers to prepare it for a leisurely feast. The feast started at 9.45am and the raptor was still dealing with its prey at 11.25am, the lower part of the myna’s body was then still not eaten. A number of... Read More

Oriental Honey-buzzard: Wear and tear of feathers

01 Dec 2008   in Feathers-maintenance No Comments »
Contributed by Lee Tiah Khee & Wang Luan Keng
Oriental Honey-buzzard: Wear and tear of feathers When Lee Tiah Khee was at Singapore’s Japanese Garden in Jurong around noon one day in October 2008, three Oriental Honey-buzzards (Pernis ptilorhyncus) flew to a tree above him. One image in particular showed newly emerged wing/tail feathers as well as a few worn out through were and tear. The image was sent to field ornithologist Wang Luan Keng who sent in her analysis: “Wing moult: Seems like this bird has arrested its primary moult before it migrated to Singapore.... Read More

Nesting saga of Peaceful Dove: Part 1 of 6

01 Dec 2008   in Nesting, Pigeon-Dove No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Nesting saga of Peaceful Dove: Part 1 of 6 Building a bird’s nest within a flowerpot of bird’s nest fern, above a giant epiphytic Bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus), on an open air, skylight Christmas tree? (left top) Yes, that was precisely what a young pair of trendy Peaceful Doves (Geopelia striata) was observed to be doing- building ‘a nest within a nest above a nest’. Join me to read and visit Avian writer’s compact home garden which my endearing neighbour calls, ‘my jungle’ and enjoy a 6 part... Read More

Bottlebrush trees in Malaysia’s hill stations

30 Nov 2008   in Feeding-plants 3 Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
Bottlebrush trees in Malaysia's hill stations Bottlebrushes (Callistemon spp.) are shrubs to small trees that were introduced to Southeast Asia from Australia. These are attractive in their colourful flowers that bunch just behind branch tips, looking like bottle brushes, thus the common name. The colours of the flowers are due to the long stamens – mostly red, but there are some that are yellow or green. Bottlebrushes are popularly grown in gardens, parks and along roadsides in Singapore where they attract many... Read More

Why only juvenile Tiger Shrikes arrive in Singapore?

30 Nov 2008   in Migration-Migrants 4 Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Why only juvenile Tiger Shrikes arrive in Singapore? KC Tsang sent this comment on 2nd October 2008: “This was the first time that I have seen an adult male Tiger Shrike (Lanius tigrinus) on 28/08/2008, and this was in nearby Panti Forest, Johor (left top). However on the 
other side of Panti, which is the Kota Tinggi waterfall side, the three were all 
juveniles.

 “On 01/09/2008, yesterday, the one at Singapore’s Japanese Gardens was also a juvenile.
 On 02/09/2008, at Venus Drive (left bottom), the... Read More

Water monitor lizard and waders

29 Nov 2008   in Waders 1 Comment »
Contributed by Lee Tiah Khee
Water monitor lizard and waders The abundance of Malayan Water Monitors (Varanus salvator) at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve has made these lizards an added attraction. The scavenging activities of these lizards shown earlier with a large catfish in its jaws, beg the question of how successful they are in catching resident and migratory birds. No doubt these skirmishes make for exciting encounters. The image by Lee Tiah Khee shows a monitor lizard sneaking up on an unsuspecting wader and subsequently... Read More

Blue-tailed Bee-eater manipulating a dragonfly

29 Nov 2008   in Bee-eaters, Feeding strategy, Feeding-invertebrates 4 Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee
Blue-tailed Bee-eater manipulating a dragonfly One of bee-eaters’ favourite food, or at least what we perceive as its favourite, is dragonflies. This is because photographers love to document these birds in the act of manipulating a dragonfly prior to swallowing it after its successful aerial chase. The series of images by Johnny Wee, shows a Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus ) in the process of swallowing a dragonfly after it was properly thrashed against the perch. The bird expertly flipped the insect into... Read More

Bird Strike at Singapore’s Changi International Airport

28 Nov 2008   in Collision-Reflection, Reports 1 Comment »
Contributed by Jeremy Lee
Bird Strike at Singapore’s Changi International Airport “I was on a flight back to Singapore this morning and we had a bit of a drama during the approach and landing. “First it was an approaching thunderstorm from the South of Singapore that caused all aircraft to land from the opposite direction away from the storm. It was during this high workload period when I was changing the arrival when I heard a Japanese airline’s pilot report that he had a bird strike after take off. “The controller was very busy rearranging... Read More