• 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,...

Oriental Honey-buzzard mobbed

12 Nov 2008   in Interspecific, Raptors 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dr Leong Tzi Ming
Oriental Honey-buzzard mobbed On 8th November 2008, we received a report from Dr Leong Tzi Ming: “On the morning of 4th November, 2008, I photographed this raptor perched on the rooftop of adjacent houses outside my bedroom window. It was periodically being mocked, dive-bombed and chased by crows. “After describing it to R Subaraj, he believed it’s most likely to be the Oriental Honey-buzzard (Pernis ptilorhyncus), en route towards the south. I also showed this picture to Morten Strange, who... Read More

Oriental Honey-buzzard attacking wasp nest

12 Nov 2008   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-invertebrates, Reports No Comments »
Contributed by Michael Ho
Oriental Honey-buzzard attacking wasp nest Michael Ho a.k.a. nemo photographed an Oriental Honey-buzzard (Pernis ptilorhyncus) raiding a wasp nest on October 2008. The buzzard was flying around when it located a nest of the wasp, Vespa affinia, attached to what looks like a pine tree (Pinus sp.). It zoomed in and ripped the nest with its feet to get at the larvae. At the same time a piece of the nest dropped, exposing the wriggling larvae. Oriental Honey Buzzard eats mainly the larvae of bees and wasps. Sometimes... Read More

Oriental Pied Hornbill: Success of nesting boxes

11 Nov 2008   in Hornbills No Comments »
Contributed by Robert Teo
The nesting boxes built for the Oriental Pied Hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris) have proved successful when used in the Jurong Bird Park. Being caged and not able to seek out natural cavities in old and rotting trees, these hornbills have no choice but to make use of the nesting boxes to breed. These boxes have also been used in the offshore island of Pulau Ubin where a large population of the hornbills are found. The hornbills have taken naturally to these nesting... Read More

Common Kingfishers in confrontation

11 Nov 2008   in Feeding-plants, Interspecific, Kingfishers No Comments »
Contributed by Lee Tiah Khee
Common Kingfishers in confrontation A pair of Common Kingfishers (Alcedo atthis) found themselves on a piece of rocky surface by a pond and decided that two was a crowd (above). A fierce confrontation ensued (below) but the fight was rudely interrupted by the arrival of a sparrowhawk that suddenly flew in from above. The exciting moments were documented by Lee Tiah Khee in mid-October 2008. The raptor missed its meal as the kingfishers managed to evade capture and Tiah Khee missed taking a shot of the... Read More

Sacred way to kings “Down Under”

10 Nov 2008   in Kingfishers No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
The sighting of Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus Sanctus) at River Kitabatangan’s village of Sukau, Sabah (N. Borneo) in November 2006, made history for the peaceful village; as the first recorded species sighted of that area. I became the first privileged birder-digiscopist cum Avian Writer in Malaysia, graciously chosen and honoured by King Ceyx – the mythological king of kingfishers to hold the sighting cum digiscoping record for this vagrant (a bird status to... Read More

Chinese Sparrowhawk sighted

09 Nov 2008   in Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Chinese Sparrowhawk sighted On 27th October 2008, a Chinese Sparrowhawk (Accipiter soloensis) was spotted at Kent Ridge Park by KC Tsang, the first reported sighting of the season… “This morning went for a walk with Amy, when we spotted this Chinese SparrowHawk up an albizia tree (Paraserianthes falcataria). After taking a couple of shots of the back, the bird hopped onto another branch to give us the front view. This time the feathers on its back seems to be a bit different from the one I... Read More

Barbets and cavity excavating

09 Nov 2008   in Barbet-To'can-H'guide, Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Eric Tan
Barbets and cavity excavating Barbets are primary cavity nesters, or most of them are. They thus nest in freshly excavated cavities that they dig from rotting tree trunks and branches. This is one of a few groups of birds that are able to excavate their own cavities. Such capability is rather surprising, considering the large, usually sharply pointed bill that do not appear to be adapted for such an activity. For roosting, some species excavate their own cavities. Others use cavities abandoned by other... Read More

Velvet-fronted Nuthatch

08 Nov 2008   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch The Velvet-fronted Nuthatch (Sitta frontalis) is a common resident in Peninsular Malaysia. In Singapore it is a non-breeding visitor, first reported in the mid-1996 in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. It was reportedly sighted a few more time in subsequent years. The image reproduced here of a male bird, photographed in Malaysia in August 2008, are courtesy of Adrian Lim, a.k.a. wmw998. “This nuthatch surprised me, as I didn’t expect it to be found at such low... Read More

Collared Kingfisher handling a crab

08 Nov 2008   in Feeding strategy, Kingfishers 2 Comments »
Contributed by Ng Kiah Hwa
Collared Kingfisher handling a crab Ng Kiah Hwa a.k.a. hawkeyes documented a Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris) catching a crab and expertly handling it to eventually swallowing the crustacean. The images were taken in Penang, Malaysia on an October 2008 evening. The Collared Kingfisher often forages around mud flats, catching mainly small crabs and other crustaceans. Sometimes it catches a fish or two or even a mudskipper. Inland, it catches insects, tadpoles, frogs and lizards. With small crabs, the... Read More

Mark of the Oriental Pied Hornbill on the papaya fruit

07 Nov 2008   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-plants, Hornbills No Comments »
Contributed by Tan Teo Seng & YC
Mark of the Oriental Pied Hornbill on the papaya fruit Tan Teo Seng recently sent me a few papaya (Carica papays) fruits from his farm in Kota Tinggi in Johor, Malaysia. He observed the Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) at various times trying to eat them. However, as the fruits were just beginning to ripen and not soft enough for the bill to penetrate, the bird simply left its mark on the skin. The image above shows a characteristic, incomplete “teardrop” mark on the fruit. The bird must have returned... Read More