• 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,...

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

Colourful butterflies and moths: Distasteful to birds?

03 Jun 2008   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-invertebrates 8 Comments »
Contributed by YC & Steven Chong
Colourful butterflies and moths: Distasteful to birds? Butterflies and moths are regularly fed upon by birds. Once caught between the bill, the birds often flick the insect to remove the wings before swallowing the body. The image below (right) shows a bee-eater handling either a butterfly or a moth, with wing parts flying off towards the lelt of the image. The image on the left shows an Asian Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi) with a butterfly in its bill. Again, parts of the wings have been damaged. It has been shown... Read More

Dollarbird feeding nestling

02 Jun 2008   in Feeding chicks, Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by James Wong
Dollarbird feeding nestling The construction of the boardwalk in Changi in 2003 has proved to be a boom to bird photographers, especially that section known as Kelong Walk. Here, nibong (Oncosperma sp.) stems have been used to give this section of the walk a “kelong” look reminiscent of the old fish traps that once were common around the local coasts. Due to the weather, the top portions of these posts have worn down, providing nesting cavities to Dollarbirds (Eurystomus orientalis). And bird... Read More

Sparrowhawk live on web-cam

01 Jun 2008   in Raptors 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dave Culley
Sparrowhawk live on web-cam Dave Culley runs the Sparrowhawk Island website that captures many species of British birds in the wild on web-cams (web cameras). He has 16 live cams running at the same time, three directed on nests and two on chopping blocks where the birds eat and mate (below). These cams are permanently fixed in the woods in Cheshire, England and in Dave’s garden. They have been there for the past three years and Dave has been studying the birds of the area since then. The cams have... Read More

Courtship of the Blue-eared Barbet

31 May 2008   in Barbet-To'can-H'guide, Courtship-Mating No Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
Courtship of the Blue-eared Barbet Adrian Lim a.k.a wmw998 documented a pair of courting Blue-eared Barbet (Megalaima australis) in Malaysia sometime in May 2008 The female was perching on a branch of a tree doing nothing in particular. Suddenly there was a loud call, made by a male nearby. He had food in his bill but this did not prevent him from making “such sweet music” as described by Adrian (left). The male was puffing and blowing to expand his throat pouch. As the pouch expanded, it pushed aside... Read More

Sightings of Himalayan Griffon in Singapore

30 May 2008   in Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Sightings of Himalayan Griffon in Singapore “The Himalayan Griffon (Gyps himalayensis) is a proud and magnificent raptor that feeds on carrion. The image at left, reproduced from the late Dato Loke Wan Tho’s book, A Company of Birds, shows these raptors feasting on a cow’s carcass in their home territory in the Himalayas. Dato Loke was an early pioneer birder-photographer and Nature Society member. “The Griffon is a resident of Central Asia and the Himalayas. It is a high altitude bird, found mostly... Read More

Thailand’s Adopt-a-Raptor Programme

29 May 2008   in Raptors, Rescue No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua
Thailand’s Adopt-a-Raptor Programme Since January 2007, Thailand’s Kasetsart University Raptor Rehabilitation Centre, in partnership with the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand and the Thai Raptor Group, has launched an “Adopt a Raptor” programme. The scheme was started when a Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus) was found exhausted in south-east Thailand in early January 2007 and handed over to Dr Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua of Kasetsart University. Around the same time, four Himalayan Griffons (Gyps... Read More

Sudden increase in Singapore’s hornbill population

29 May 2008   in Hornbills, Nesting 19 Comments »
Contributed by YC
Sudden increase in Singapore's hornbill population In a talk to update the public on the Singapore Hornbill Project on 22nd May 2008, Marc Cremades, who initiated the project together with Prof Ng Soon Chye, announced that the population of the Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) in Singapore has seen a sudden explosion. These large and impressive birds have been slowly increasing in number over the last decade or so. When the project was initiated in 2006, the hornbill population was below 30 birds, with... Read More

Common Iora collecting spider silk for nest material

28 May 2008   in Nests No Comments »
Contributed by willis
Common Iora collecting spider silk for nest material Willis photographed this Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia) collecting spider silk for its nest (left). It can be a messy job as seen in the image but spider silk plays an important role in the makeup of small nests of many small birds. The silk helps bind up the nesting materials, making the nest a more sturdy structure. An earlier post on the Black-naped Monarch (Hypothymis azurea) nest shows whitish spider cocoon silk on the nest surface together with mosses and liverworts.... Read More