• 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,...

Sophisticated architecture of Baya Weaver’s nest

11 Jun 2008   in Nests 4 Comments »
Contributed by Oka Dwi P. & Swiss Winasis
Sophisticated architecture of Baya Weaver’s nest “Round and oval objects are hanging on the branches of a mangrove tree, swinging slightly when the wind blows (above). These are the nests of the Baya Weavers (Ploceus philippinus) (below top). There are more than ten of them, hanging from the branches of a tree in Sempadan swamp along Bogowonto river in the coastal village of Pagak Purworejo, Indonesia. This is a favourite nesting area of these birds. “The nest architecture is complicated. Each nest is... Read More

Injured Purple Heron: Seven months on

10 Jun 2008   in Feeding strategy, Heron-Egret-Bittern 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dr Chua Ee Kiam
Injured Purple Heron: Seven months on In early November 2007, Dr Chua Ee Kiam reported the presence of a Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve with a torn lower jaw. Three months on it was still alive and well. Now, seven months on, Ee Kiam again encountered the heron and report on its efforts at feeding. “Managed to photograph the Purple Heron (that was injured in the neck) feeding on a catfish in SBWR on 2nd June 2008. Initially I saw the heron landing on the water edge with... Read More

Noisy Miner attacking Pied Currawong

10 Jun 2008   in Interspecific 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dr CH Lee
Noisy Miner attacking Pied Currawong Most Australian birders would know that Noisy Miners (Manorina melanocephala) are territorial and extremely aggressive. They would not hesitate to attack larger birds that invade their territory. An earlier post by Dr CH Lee a.k.a lchxian, details the attack by Noisy Miners (Manorina melanocephala) on a helpless Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis) in Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia. Compared to the dove, which is about 15-20 cm long, the miner is larger at 25-29 cm.... Read More

Dark-necked Tailorbird collecting floss

09 Jun 2008   in Nests No Comments »
Contributed by Lin Yangchen
Dark-necked Tailorbird collecting floss Lin Yangchen documented a male Dark-necked Tailorbird (Orthotomus atrogularis nitidus) collecting fruits of the lalang grass (Imperata cylindrical) for its nest (above; field of lalang bottom). These fruits provide the floss that is probably incorporated with other plant materials as nest lining – seen in the nest of the Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) and the Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis), where there is a distinct lining of floss. As Yenchen... Read More

Common Iora eating praying mantis and caterpillar

08 Jun 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman
Common Iora eating praying mantis and caterpillar The Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia) is a yellow-green bird with two white wing bars. It is a common resident of parks, gardens, mangroves and open country. It hunts for insects and other arthropods high up in the canopy of trees. Prey items include mantids, ants, bees, caterpillars as well as an occasional butterfly/moth. It has also been recorded to take spiders. Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman documented the bird catching a praying mantis and bashing it against the branch where... Read More

Anatomy of a munia’s nest II

07 Jun 2008   in Nests 2 Comments »
Contributed by YC
Anatomy of a munia’s nest II On 5th May 2008, Tan Teo Seng sent me a used munia nest that he collected from his fruit farm in Johor while pruning his jambu air or water apple (Syzygium aqueum) tree. The nest was lodged between the narrow forks of two pairs of slender branches about 3 metres from the ground. The nest, a roundish structure of 150×150 mm, has a small oval opening of 35×40 mm near the top, about half way up (above left, arrow). The entrance is slightly directed downwards and not... Read More

Eurasian Sparrowhawk: Courtship and nesting

07 Jun 2008   in Courtship-Mating, Nesting, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Dave Culley
Eurasian Sparrowhawk: Courtship and nesting The Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) is a forest and open woodland species. Although Thiollay (1994) reported it to be not usually found in urban gardens and parks, Hume (2002) says that it is “bold enough to hunt in gardens and parks.” The bird is found throughout Europe, except Iceland. During the 1950s and 1960s populations decreased significantly through accidental pesticide poisoning. However, since the 1970s, numbers have increased as a result of enlightened... Read More

Baya Weavers: Nest building and after

06 Jun 2008   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by James Wong
Baya Weavers: Nest building and after James Wong a.k.a. Jw73 spent three years documenting the nesting behaviour of the Baya Weavers (Ploceus philippinus) using 500mm and 600mm telephoto lenses so as not to disturb the birds unnecessarily and shares his images in this post. The male (top) appears to do most of the work, collecting strips of grass and weaving the pieces into a ‘helmet’ stage with a perch at the base (above left). Lumps of mud are collected and placed in the lower portion of the nest in an... Read More

Sighting of the Red Avadavat

05 Jun 2008   in Exotics 2 Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang, Margie Hall, Timothy Pwee & R Subaraj
Sighting of the Red Avadavat The Red Avadavat (Amandava amandavat), also known as Red Munia and Strawberry Finch, is a South Asian bird the size of a sparrow. Because of its colourful plumage, it is a popular cage bird. A number of countries, including Malaysia and Singapore, harbour introduced populations. According to Wang & Hails (2007), the Red was introduced into Singapore as early as the 1880s. Since then it has been sighted on and off but there has been no confirmation of breeding. On... Read More

Blue-eared Barbet’s prominent black pouch

04 Jun 2008   in Barbet-To'can-H'guide, Courtship-Mating, Feeding strategy No Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim, Dr Geoffrey Davison, Morten Strange & Wang Luan Keng
Blue-eared Barbet's prominent black pouch In the earlier post on the courtship behaviour of the Blue-eared Barbet (Megalaima australis) by Adrian Lim a.k.a wmw998, there was a mention of a prominent black throat pouch that the male displayed when making its mating call (below). The male was described as puffing and blowing to expand his throat pouch. As the pouch expanded, it pushed aside the black feathers that make up the black upper breast band, exposing a smooth, rounded, black sac. Adrian is of the view that... Read More