• 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,...

Albino House Sparrow being fed by an adult bird

13 Aug 2008   in Feeding chicks 2 Comments »
Contributed by Cherylyn Straubmuller
Albino House Sparrow being fed by an adult bird In August 2008, Cherylyn Straubmuller wrote: “Recently, an albino chickadee has been coming to eat at our feeders in New Jersey, US. Although our camera isn’t the best, we have some great pictures of her, if you would like to see them. Her mate constantly takes care of her, feeding and grooming.” Subsequently, Cherylyn added: “The albino can fly well, however, it will land on the feeders but not feed from them. It has landed on the ground and pecked seed. This... Read More

BESG’s publications

12 Aug 2008   in uncategorised No Comments »
Contributed by - see article -
Since the formation of BESG in 2005, we have posted more than 800 items in this website. Such postings are informal. The almost immediate postings make observations readily available to whoever has access to a computer. However, website postings are unconventional as compared to publications in print media. There is thus a need to formalise observations so as to officially credit contributors. For this to be done, we need to compile and publish observations in print media or... Read More

Spotted Dove on a pot of mint: Final saga

11 Aug 2008   in Nesting, Pigeon-Dove No Comments »
Contributed by Opel Mok
Spotted Dove on a pot of mint: Final saga A pair of Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis) built a nest on top of Opel Mok’s pot of mint plant and laid one egg on 9th and another on 11th July 2008. The eggs hatched on 24th July . Most probably hatching was on different days and Opel would have missed seeing one of the adult flying off with the eggshell, as is usually the case. The above shows, from left, the adult with two eggs, two-days old and six-days old chicks. The adults took turns brooding the chicks and... Read More

Crimson Sunbird: Adult and juvenile male plumage

10 Aug 2008   in Morphology-Develop., Sunbirds 4 Comments »
Contributed by Choo Teik Ju
Crimson Sunbird: Adult and juvenile male plumage The male Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) is eye-catching because of its prominent crimson head, back, throat and upper breast. In a juvenile male bird, the crimson is not apparent until later when individual crimson feathers develop as the bird moults from a juvenal to a breeding plumage. As individual breeding feathers develop, the redness appears in scattered patches as seen in the image above (right) However, an adult male during the non-breeding period sheds most... Read More

Swift Parrot prospecting nest hole outside its breeding area in Tasmania

09 Aug 2008   in Parrots No Comments »
Contributed by Ong Tun Pin
Swift Parrot prospecting nest hole outside its breeding area in Tasmania The Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) is found in southeastern Australia. It breeds only in Tasmania and winters in mainland Australia, mainly Victoria, New South Wales, and less commonly in SE Queensland and SE South Australia. This is a rare, endangered parrot. Its green plumage provides excellent camouflage when it is feeding or resting in the gum tree. It is hyperactive, clambering among the branches and hanging upside down to get at the flowers. However, its loud calls... Read More

Stork-billed Kingfisher catching armoured catfish

08 Aug 2008   in Feeding-vertebrates, Kingfishers 3 Comments »
Contributed by Kennie Pan & Dr Khoo Hong Woo
Stork-billed Kingfisher catching armoured catfish For about two weeks recently, Kennie Pan was at the Singapore Botanic Gardens keeping watch on a pair of Stork-billed Kingfisher (Halcyon capensis) around the Symphony Lake. Normally, the kingfisher came out between 7 am and 12 noon, perching on a branch of its favourite tree, keeping watch on the water below. “Out of the total 10 days I went there, the last day was a lifer for me. Both the female and the male came out and fished at the same area, but on different... Read More

Hunting strategies of two raptors

07 Aug 2008   in Feeding strategy, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Myron Tay
Hunting strategies of two raptors “I have witnessed successful hunting of fish by two of our local eagles – the White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) (below left) at Jurong Lake and the Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) (below right) at East Coast. “I noticed that while the White-bellied Sea Eagle has a rather gentle approach to catch its prey, the Brahminy Kite closed its wings and dived down to its prey. I was wondering whether they are the result of different conditions (gentle lake... Read More

Anting in review: A three-year wait

06 Aug 2008   in Feathers-maintenance, Reports 2 Comments »
Contributed by YC
Anting in review: A three-year wait Nature in Singapore, an on-line bulletin of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, has just published a review article on anting that is relevant to the local birding scene. The anting phenomenon was first publicised to the local birding community in October 2005 when BESG posted a note by Kelvin KP Lim who observed it in 1988. Until then, local birders were totally unaware of anting – use of ants by birds for feather maintenance. Since then, there have been more... Read More

BESG’s Russian connection

06 Aug 2008   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
BESG’s Russian connection Tatiana Petrova, an ornithologist from St Petersburg, Russia wrote to BESG’s forum earlier, posting images of a chick a friend in Singapore picked up near Bukit Gombak Mass Rapid Transit Station. “I help people to raise picked nestlings of passerines and swifts. But about this bird, I was asked by one person who lives in Singapore. I’m not a specialist on Asian birds and it is a trouble for me to decide is it any starling or Turdidae bird to say how to feed... Read More

Yellow-vented Bulbul: Tissue paper nest

05 Aug 2008   in Nests No Comments »
Contributed by Lena Chow
Yellow-vented Bulbul: Tissue paper nest Lena Chow encountered an interesting Yellow-vented Bulbul’s (Pycnonotus goiavier) nest that incorporated a piece of tissue paper into its nest. “Thought I’d provide a follow-up to the nesting last year in the artificial plant in my garage. Well, after the failed nesting in April, another nest appeared in July last year in an Allamanda plant in my garden (5m away from the artificial plant). Curiously, this nest had a big piece of toilet paper weaved into it which... Read More