• 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,...

Bird reflection: Ruby-cheeked Sunbird

20 Sep 2007   in Collision-Reflection, Sunbirds No Comments »
Contributed by Susan Wong Chor Mun
Bird reflection: Ruby-cheeked Sunbird The recent post on birds and their reflections showcasing an Australian crow as well as a Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach) and an Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) has unearthed another case of such behaviour. Susan Wong Chor Mun reported on the anitcs of a male Ruby-cheeked Sunbird (Anthreptes singalensis) that was attracted to its own reflection from her car’s side mirror (left). The bird thought there was another male around. “He was very fierce... Read More

Peaceful Dove: A filthy nest

19 Sep 2007   in Parasites, Waste 5 Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Peaceful Dove: A filthy nest KC Tsang was at Neo Tiew Lane on 2nd September 2007 when he came across the nest of the Peaceful Dove (Geopelia striata) (above). There was an adult in the nest together with two chicks. But what he noticed was the filth of the nest periphery, so much so that he wrote, “…this nest made of shit, bird shit. And the best thing is that it is all orderly, and properly arranged.” Tongue-in-cheek he continued, “Now the question is, how long did it take to collect all these... Read More

Hanging Parrot: Pollinating mistletoe flowers

17 Sep 2007   in Feeding-plants, Plants No Comments »
Contributed by YC
Hanging Parrot: Pollinating mistletoe flowers The mistletoe Macrosolen cochinchinensis has flowers that only open when visited by birds. When a bird grasps the flower bud, the petals suddenly unfold to expose the stamens and style. At the same time pollen is probably discharged from the anthers on to the bird. The bird helps itself to the nectar and at the same time assists in the pollination of the flower. The image above (left) shows the elongated flower buds and the yellowish aborted ovaries that failed to be... Read More

A family of Common Tailorbirds

16 Sep 2007   in Feeding chicks No Comments »
Contributed by YC
A family of Common Tailorbirds For a few weeks in July 2007 I was observing a single Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) visiting my starfruit tree (Averrhoa carambola). The bird would silently fly in during the late morning and flit from branch to branch gleaning insects, mainly ants. It would spend about five minutes in the tree before flying off. The tailorbird had been absent for a few months since the failed nesting in my neighbour’s garden in March 2007. That nesting tragically ended when the... Read More

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve: Bird population

15 Sep 2007   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by - see article -
“Are there detrimental effects to the regulation of water levels in the three ponds? Over the years, we have found that leaving the ponds at low water level for periods of more than a week result in the drying out of the mud with consequent die off of the mud invertebrates. When two or three ponds are carefully operated with minimal drying out periods of four days or less, the benefits of water level regulation are evident. “The bottom line – Has the number of... Read More

Milky x Painted Stork hybrid

13 Sep 2007   in Species No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Milky x Painted Stork hybrid The Milky Stork (Mycteria cinerea), whose population is globally VULNERABLE, has a restricted distribution in Southeast Asia (above). Its population worldwide is estimated at 5,500 birds, confined mainly to Indonesia, with smaller populations in Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, and possibly Vietnam. Through the years the population in Malaysia has seen a massive decline. On the other hand, the Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala), although not globally threatened, is... Read More

House Crows and Cinnamon Bittern

12 Sep 2007   in Interspecific 2 Comments »
Contributed by Jacqueline Lau
House Crows and Cinnamon Bittern “So far we’ve been speaking of House Crows (Corvus splendens) going after smaller victims, but once I’ve seen them tackle a bittern in the air. “It was a Cinnamon Bittern (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus), an unfortunate Glass Window Casualty (see 1, 2). It reportedly crashed into the classroom block of my secondary school, and together with a friend I took it in and ‘nursed’ it (left top). It was nothing much, just some grazes on the wing and it... Read More

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker eating Indian cherry

10 Sep 2007   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Chan Yoke Meng
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker eating Indian cherry Yes, how does an Orange-bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonestigma) tackles the fruits of the Indian cherry tree (Muntingia calabura)? In an earlier post, KC Tsang gave an account of how this flowerpecker ate the fruits of the Indian cherry tree. The adult male pierced the partially ripe fruit with his lower mandible and with the help of the upper, compressed the fruit to get at the sweet pulp. A recent observation, complete with photographic evidence by Chan Yoke Meng,... Read More

Blue Lorikeet or Nunbird

09 Sep 2007   in Parrots 1 Comment »
Contributed by Ong Tun Pin
Blue Lorikeet or Nunbird Blue Lorikeet (Vini peruviana) is a cute bird usually seen singly or in pairs, sometimes even in small groups (left). Extremely noisy, their high pitched, hissing screech, scheee-scheee scheee-scheee announce their presence even before they are seen. They are also excessively active, climbing the branches in search of flower nectar or flying around, even hovering as if suspended in the air. The bird has another name that fits it well, Nunbird, as the blue-white plumage of... Read More

African Tulip: Bulbul collecting nectar

07 Sep 2007   in Plants No Comments »
Contributed by YC & Richard Hale
African Tulip: Bulbul collecting nectar The African tulip (Spathodea campanulata) is a native of tropical West African. It is commonly found growing in this region. Once popular in Singapore for its attractive and colourful flowers, tall trees are now not tolerated along the wayside where falling branches may endanger life and limbs. They can still be seen in wastelands where their large, orange-red flowers top the crown. The flower buds are filled with a sweetish liquid and during the days when they were growing... Read More