• 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,...

Portrait of an eagle: Changeable Hawk Eagle

16 Aug 2007   in Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Mark Chua
Portrait of an eagle: Changeable Hawk Eagle The Changeable Hawk Eagle (Spizaetus cirrhatus) found in this part of the world is the subspecies limnaeetus. It is crestless and is found from the Himalayan foothills down through Southeast Asia into Greater Sundas to Philippines. This subspecies is polymorphic, with a dark and a pale morph (above). The sexes are similar but the female is slightly larger. The juvenile (pale morph) is distinct, with its head and underparts largely white (left). Juveniles begin to breed in... Read More

Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve: More on crocs

15 Aug 2007   in uncategorised No Comments »
Contributed by - see article -
The earlier post on the crocodile sighting at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (above) has attracted another comment from R. Subaraj, a nature consultant and bird specialist: “Actually, from what I hear (and this needs confirmation from NParks), the croc in question just got too comfortable in its surroundings and started taking up residence in the visitor centre ponds. This is an active public zone, with lots of school kids and families at certain times and as such,... Read More

Lam’s Olive-backed Sunbirds

14 Aug 2007   in Nesting, Sunbirds No Comments »
Contributed by Lam Chun See
Lam's Olive-backed Sunbirds “What caused two nesting failures on the same plant?” was posted earlier. Lam Chun See then thought that the pair of Olive-backed Sunbirds (Cinnyris jugularis) that had been busy constructing their nest attached to his bromeliad plant abandoned it after completion. He realised this was not so when, on 16th July 2007, he found out that the female had discreetly returned regularly, to lay her eggs and to incubate them. On 27th July his children reported that the eggs had... Read More

Birders, photographers and the study of bird behaviour

12 Aug 2007   in Reports 1 Comment »
Contributed by YC
Birders, photographers and the study of bird behaviour Once upon a time, a pair of binoculars was absolutely essential if you want to go bird watching. A good pair would enable you to view the plumage and identify the bird. With the advent of digiscopes, birders could see further than the average pair of binoculars. And if you attach a digital camera to the digiscope, you may be able to take a clear shot of the distant bird – provided the bird is cooperative and does not move about. Then came digital photography. And this... Read More

What does a tailorbird do at night?

10 Aug 2007   in Roosting No Comments »
Contributed by Ng Bee Choo & Morten Strange
What does a tailorbird do at night? Yes, what does a tailorbird do at night? Or all diurnal birds for that matter. Why, some but not all sleep. Many waders feed at night when the mudflats are exposed due to low tide. So they cannot afford to sleep. Other birds feed at night because it is safer to do so when many predators are asleep. Many birds sleep with the head turned and resting on the shoulder and the bill tucked among fluffed up plumage of the back. They may sleep standing up of sitting with the feet... Read More

Black-naped oriole: Egg raider and chick killer

06 Aug 2007   in Interspecific No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O’Neill
Black-naped oriole: Egg raider and chick killer According to Daisy O’Neill, Black-naped oriole (Oriolus chinensis) not only raid nests for eggs, they are also chick killers. She witnessed a premature chick being dragged out of the nest by an oriole some years ago. The victim was dropped to roast dry on the concrete floor. “I have yet to observe an oriole turn flesh eating,” she says. Below is her experience on the Black-naped Oriole after reading the earlier account of this bird raiding the nest of the... Read More

Tuas: Another wetland reclaimed

04 Aug 2007   in Conservation 2 Comments »
Contributed by Tang Hung Bun
On 2nd April 2007, Tang Hung Bun wrote: “Many of us have been to Tuas marshland for birding (above). While the number of dragonfly species seen there is less than that in the sedge ponds in Marina, there are some really interesting species. “Loong Fah, Yangchen and myself paid a visit to Tuas wetland last Saturday and saw the damselfly Mortonagrion falcatum (both males and females) (left top). This species is listed as critically endangered in the forthcoming new... Read More

Oriental Magpie Robin: Distraction tactic

02 Aug 2007   in Feeding chicks 4 Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee
Oriental Magpie Robin: Distraction tactic Many birds will try to distract you if you are near their nest, especially when there are chicks around. I have personally experience a Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) as well as a Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus) trying to get me away from their nests by trying the “broken wing” trick. The Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) does something else. Last week, Johnny Wee came across a male Oriental Magpie Robin accompanied by a pair of... Read More

Circus of the Spineless #23

01 Aug 2007   in uncategorised No Comments »
Contributed by - see article -
BESG is participating in Circus of the Spineless #23, a monthly celebration of insects, arachnids, molluscs, crustaceans, worms and most anything else that wiggles. If you are into invertebrates, this is the site for you. There are numerous sites where you can link up with from all over the world on these creatures. On birds, “the Bird Ecology Study Group tells about Birds and centipedes. Birdchick writes about apiculture in Son of a Beeswax! Corey of 10,000 Birds... Read More

Nesting of Grey-rumped Treeswift

30 Jul 2007   in Nesting, Nesting-failed, Swifts-Swallows No Comments »
Contributed by - see article -
Nesting of Grey-rumped Treeswift In May 2007 Melinda and Meng came across a pair of nesting Grey-rumped Treeswift (Hemiprocne longipennis) in a patch of secondary growth in the north of the island. They built their nest attached to a slender branch of an acacia tree (Acacia auriculariformis) some 20 metres high. The sexes are easily distinguished, with the male having rufous ear-coverts (left top) and the female blackish ear-coverts (left bottom). The nest is a half-saucer made from hardened saliva... Read More