• 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,...

Nectar party at the saraca tree

02 Mar 2009   in Feeding-plants, Sunbirds No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang & G. Sreedharan
Nectar party at the saraca tree “It is the time of the year again, when the saraca tree (Saraca sp.) starts to bloom in earnest. Flower buds seem to sprout from everywhere, from main branches to the usual places at the end of branches. When the flowers starts to open, a faint aroma fills the air, maybe this is the signal to the birds to start to gather at the nectar party that the tree has to offer. “The party seems to start much later in the morning, when the sun warms up the tree, encouraging the... Read More

Nesting of Olive-backed Sunbird in the HDB heartland

01 Mar 2009   in Nesting, Sunbirds 9 Comments »
Contributed by Esther Chang & Micky Lim
Nesting of Olive-backed Sunbird in the HDB heartland “The building of the Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) nest was started some weeks prior to Chinese New Year (26th January 2009) along the balcony of Esther’s HDB apartment which is on a high floor (above left). The nest building left messy bits of twigs and other materials littering the balcony. “Once completed, the nest appeared to have been abandoned for about a week, with only very occasional checks by the pair of sunbirds. Then on 25th... Read More

Birds leaf-bathing at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

28 Feb 2009   in Feathers-maintenance 1 Comment »
Contributed by GS Soh
Birds leaf-bathing at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve GS Soh was at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on the morning of 15th February 2009 and documented a pair of Copper-throated Sunbird (Leptocoma calcostetha) (above: male left, female right), Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) (below left) and an Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) (below right) enjoying a leaf-bath. February 2009 was a hot month with intermittent rain. The birds must be feeling the heat. As soon as there was a bout of rain, some birds must have... Read More

White-breasted Woodswallows roosting

27 Feb 2009   in Species No Comments »
Contributed by willis
White-breasted Woodswallows roosting Willis was in Darwin, Australia in January 2009 when he was at the carpark of Casuarina Mall, the biggest mall in Darwin… “Every evening, hundreds of lorikeets and to a lesser extent, White-breasted Woodswallows (Artamus leucorynchus), come in to roost at the carpark… Although photographically very cluttered and not possible to get a good shot, it was quite funny observing them fighting for best position.” White-breasted Woodswallows are more sociable that other... Read More

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater: Prelude to breeding

27 Feb 2009   in Bee-eaters No Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater: Prelude to breeding “The birds, I guess, were in the stage of courtship, and at the same time, looking for location to burrow. The threesome puzzled me a bit. Perhaps they were young birds, two males, trying to impress a female. “Alone, I just couldn’t tell if it was a male or a female… When it comes to courtship, and perhaps fighting to win the opposite sex, plenty of actions can be seen. This is when the birds become most charismatic. The birds also become oblivious to your... Read More

Birds and chillies

26 Feb 2009   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Howard Banwell & Sun Chong Hong
Birds and chillies The image of a Red-eyed Bulbul (Pycnonotus brunneus) eating a piece of capsicum or chilli (Capsicum annuum) was taken in Belum, Malaysia. Howard Banwell kindly made it available to BESG.. Why birds and chillies? Well, on 9th February 2009, Sun Chong Hong wrote in response to a post on a Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) swallowing figs whole. “This brings back memory of my childhood. About forty, fifty years ago I noticed the ripened chili padi potted in our... Read More

Yellow Bittern catches a frog

26 Feb 2009   in Feeding-vertebrates, Heron-Egret-Bittern No Comments »
Contributed by Lee Tiah Khee & Pittalover
Yellow Bittern catches a frog Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) is known to forage in shallow waters, catching small fish, prawns, frogs and other vertebrates. In the image shown above, Lee Tiah Khee caught the bittern in the act of catching a frog along a patch of water weeds. KC a.k.a. Pittalover has similarly photographed this bittern catching a frog in a January 2009 posting. He sighted the bittern “‘frogging’ in the watery grassland at Tuas. It was so focused on catching its... Read More

Mystery of the lost toucan solved

25 Feb 2009   in Exotics 1 Comment »
Contributed by Ivan Kwan & Ashley Ng
Mystery of the lost toucan solved Earlier, we posted the sighting of a Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco) perched on the TV anntena of a house at Seletar Hills in Singapore. Later, Hai-Ren alerted us to the three STOMP posts, the Straits Times online website, one of which helped solve the mystery of the lost bird. The first report was on 2nd October 2008 when John Phang sighted the toucan in Seletar Hills On 3rd October there was a response by Paul who made a claim that the toucan was his pet. However, the... Read More

Darter or snake bird sunning

25 Feb 2009   in Feathers-maintenance, Feeding strategy No Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee
Darter or snake bird sunning Darter (Anhinga melanogaster) is also known as Snakebird. The bird floats low in the water such that only the head and neck are above the water level, looking like a snake moving in water. The bird hunts small fishes underwater, sometimes diving into the water to do so. As birds are generally light and float in water, the darter, as well as cormorants, need to increase their weight to be able to easily move underwater. This is achieved not having their feathers... Read More

Crow mobbing White-bellied Sea Eagle

24 Feb 2009   in Crows, Interspecific, Raptors 2 Comments »
Contributed by Colleen Goh
Crow mobbing White-bellied Sea Eagle This image by Colleen Goh a.k.a. damselfly shows a single crow mobbing a White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster). Crows are notorious in their boldness. They have been known to dive-bomb dangerous predator like hawks, eagles, kites, owls and even people. Screaming loudly, a few will mob a potential predator, taking turns striking it with force. See our earlier posts on: harassing kites, attacking a kite and mobbing predator birds. This post is a cooperative effort... Read More