• 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,...

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

Javan Mynas anting in a tree

04 Aug 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
It was Christmas morning 2007. I woke up late after a night of partying. I was in the bathroom looking out of the windows directly into the starfruit tree (Averrhoa carambola). All of a sudden I noticed a pair of Javan Mynas (Acridotheres javanicus) right in front of me. There was a glass pane between us and obviously the birds did not notice my presence. The birds were jumping along the branches, flapping their wings and picking up something from the branches. Suddenly I... Read More

Brown Hawk Owl with eye tumour

02 Aug 2008   in Morphology-Develop., Owls 1 Comment »
Contributed by KC Tsang & Gloria Chay
Brown Hawk Owl with eye tumour KC Tsang went for a walk on the morning of 29th July 2008 “and found this Brown BooBook (Brown Hawk Owl, Ninox scutulata) with this unusual lump/growth just beneath his left eye (below). The bird seems quite healthy at the moment, however what could be the possible cause for this condition? “Maybe a veterinarian would be able to tell us more about the kind of illness birds would face in the wild…” We sent the images to Dr Gloria Chay, our consultant veterinarian... Read More

Red-bearded Bee-eater: Green above, black below…

02 Aug 2008   in Morphology-Develop. 1 Comment »
Contributed by Nick Sly, Roger Moo, KC Tsang, Wang Luan Keng & YC
Red-bearded Bee-eater: Green above, black below... It all started when we posted an image by Roger Moo of a Red-bearded Bee-eater (Nyctyornis amictus) fluffing its feathers. Roger noticed that although the back plumage is green, the inner feathers are black. Most birders would be familiar with the green and red plumage of this bee-eater, especially the distinctive shaggy red beard characteristic of the species. But black feathers underneath the colourful superficial plumage? Nick Sly of Biological Ramblings, operating from... Read More

Nesting habits of the Oriental Magpie Robin

01 Aug 2008   in Nesting 1 Comment »
Contributed by Mike Tan
Nesting habits of the Oriental Magpie Robin Mike Tan a.k.a. woof documented a pair of Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) nesting in an abandoned cavity in a rotting tree trunk. There were two chicks and an adult was seen feeding them (below). The Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) is one bird that builds its nest in a variety of places. These include shallow cavities that develop at the tops of rotting palm trunks and tree stumps. Less often, nests are seen among vegetation like the axils of coconut... Read More

Silver-eared Mesia feeding fledgling

31 Jul 2008   in Feeding chicks No Comments »
Contributed by Roger Moo
Silver-eared Mesia feeding fledgling Roger Moo a.k.a. Cactus400D caught sight of this adult female Silver-eared Mesia (Mesia argentauris) feeding its noisy fledgling and recorded a series of images he is sharing with viewers here. This is a colourful bird in its black cap, silvery white ear-patch, orange yellow forehead and underparts and red wing-patch. Although colourful, it is only conspicuous when around the forest edge. Once inside the forest, it totally disappears among the canopy, except from its... Read More

Rehabilitated Cinereous Vulture shot in Myanmar

30 Jul 2008   in Conservation, Illegal-Irresponsible, Raptors, Rescue 4 Comments »
Contributed by Allan Teo & Kanit Khanikul
Rehabilitated Cinereous Vulture shot in Myanmar The image above (left) shows the immature Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus) fitted with wing tag and satellite telemetry released on 10th May 2007 at Doi Lang, Chiang Mai, Thailand. It was photographed by Kanit Khanikul and made available to us through the good office of Dr Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua of Kasetsart University, Thailand. Also released at the same time were four Himalayan Griffons (Gyps himalayensis). It has since been reported by Dr Chaiyan, who oversaw the... Read More