• 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,...

Rufous-vented Niltava fledgling learning to forage

21 Dec 2008   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Roger Moo
Rufous-vented Niltava fledgling learning to forage Roger Moo a.k.a. cactus400D documented a Rufous-vented Niltava (Niltava sumatrana) fledgling at Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands learning how to forage with the adult watching nearby, never helping. The bird flew to the branch with the ripe fruit hanging down (top row, left). It carefully checked it out (top row, right), “spinning” downwards and successfully removed the outer covering. It then rested a while (bottom row, left) before getting off the branch to get... Read More

Annual appearance of migrant starlings

21 Dec 2008   in Migration-Migrants 2 Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang, Chow Ngian & R Subaraj
Annual appearance of migrant starlings On 15th November 2008, KC Tsang was at his favourite haunt, the Bididari Cemetery: “There were hundreds of starlings up in the sky this morning at my favorite haunt, Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis) mainly. However, among the flying hoards, we noticed there were some that was quite different from the usually black starlings. “These were the Daurian Starlings a.k.a. Purple-backed Starlings (Sturnus sturninus) that are supposed to be common winter visitors and... Read More

Naval aviation of Blue-tailed Bee-eaters

20 Dec 2008   in Bee-eaters, Feeding strategy No Comments »
Contributed by Lin Yangchen
Naval aviation of Blue-tailed Bee-eaters  Lin Yangchen photographed three successive stages of dive sequences of the Blue-tailed Bee-eaters (Merops philippinus) as it zoomed into the water to most probably catch an aquatic insect or a fish. “The first photo shows the bee-eater leaving its perch with the anterioposterior axis pointed downwards (but dorsal surface still on top), but with the head remaining horizontal (top left). I call this ‘gyroscopic’, and it is a behaviour exhibited by dragonflies in... Read More

The male Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker

19 Dec 2008   in Species No Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
The male Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker Adrian Lim a.k.a. wmw998 photographed a male Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker (Prionochilus percussus) at Rengit, Johor, Malaysia in October 2008. “This Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker is nothing rare to most of you who had been to Panti. The bird might be small, but it made my head spin. It was just too quick… I was almost out of breath, after chasing it for a distance. To make matter worse, it would perch in dark areas, and I really had to struggle for shutter... Read More

Chinese Pond Heron washing food before eating

19 Dec 2008   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Foo Sai Khoon
Chinese Pond Heron washing food before eating “I spent Deevapali with some Malaysian friends at Sungei Balang and Parit Jawa in Malaysia. In Sungei Balang, we came across Chinese Pond Herons (Ardeola bacchus) on many occasions but they flew off each time the car engine was switched off. But this one was looking for food and was oblivious of our presence. What is interesting is that it gave us an insight into its feeding habit. It washed its food (or wet its food) before eating it.” The above images show the heron... Read More

Black-naped Tern feeding chick

18 Dec 2008   in Feeding chicks No Comments »
Contributed by willis
Black-naped Tern feeding chick In May 2008 Willis documented the difficulties Black-naped Terns (Sterna sumatrana) face when bringing food to feed their chicks. These terns have no hesitation robbing another of its fish, either in flight or on land when the fish is passed on to the chicks. The drama began when an adult, with a fish in its bill, arrived to feed its chick (top row, left). The moment a chick received the fish, an intruder arrived to snatch it away (top row, right). Naturally the adult... Read More

Crimson Sunbird in the rain

17 Dec 2008   in Feathers-maintenance 3 Comments »
Contributed by YC
Crimson Sunbird in the rain On the evening of 19th November 2008, a Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) was spotted perching on a branch of my curry bush (Myrraya koenigii) tree. It was raining heavily and the sunbird was on an exposed branch, moving about, enjoying the rain drops. As the raindrops fell on the bird, it moved its body about, fluffing its feathers to rinse off excess droplets and at the same time allowing the rain to fall on the inner parts of the wings. At the same time the bird was... Read More

Common Sandpiper: Foraging behaviour

17 Dec 2008   in Migration-Migrants, Species, Waders No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Common Sandpiper: Foraging behaviour The Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) is not resident to Singapore. It is a winter visitor and passage migrant. And comes August, these sandpipers begin to arrive, their number increasing through September to March. By that month most would have left. So common are the Common Sandpipers during these months that most traditional birdwatchers fail to see them – remember the saying “you may look but you do not see.” As an “experienced” birdwatcher told me... Read More

Food brought to the nest of the Long-legged Buzzard

16 Dec 2008   in Feeding chicks No Comments »
Contributed by Liu Jianzhong
Food brought to the nest of the Long-legged Buzzard In May-June 2006, Liu Jianzhong a.k.a Jz was in China, driving through the Five Colours Bay (五彩灣) when he stumbled upon the nest of the Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus) (above). The nest was on a cliff by the desert and there were two newly hatched chicks covered with downs (top row, left). Inside the nest were carcasses of a raptor(?) and a snake (top row, right). Other food brought back for the chicks include possibly a hedgehog (bottom row, left). Apparently... Read More

Milky Stork forages with an open wing

16 Dec 2008   in Feeding strategy 1 Comment »
Contributed by GS Soh
Milky Stork forages with an open wing GS Soh a.k.a. gssoh photographed a Milky Stork (Mycteria cinerea) feeding in the Japanese Garden pond in October 2008. This bird is often seen together with the Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala), in a free-flying flock from Singapore’s Jurong BirdPark. One of his images show the stork foraging with one wing open, wondering, “Is this to frighten the fishes or cut its reflection?” Milky Sotrk feeds on large mudskippers and small fish, snakes and frogs. Its method... Read More