• 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,...

Velvet-fronted Nuthatch

08 Nov 2008   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
Velvet-fronted Nuthatch The Velvet-fronted Nuthatch (Sitta frontalis) is a common resident in Peninsular Malaysia. In Singapore it is a non-breeding visitor, first reported in the mid-1996 in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. It was reportedly sighted a few more time in subsequent years. The image reproduced here of a male bird, photographed in Malaysia in August 2008, are courtesy of Adrian Lim, a.k.a. wmw998. “This nuthatch surprised me, as I didn’t expect it to be found at such low... Read More

Collared Kingfisher handling a crab

08 Nov 2008   in Feeding strategy, Kingfishers 2 Comments »
Contributed by Ng Kiah Hwa
Collared Kingfisher handling a crab Ng Kiah Hwa a.k.a. hawkeyes documented a Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris) catching a crab and expertly handling it to eventually swallowing the crustacean. The images were taken in Penang, Malaysia on an October 2008 evening. The Collared Kingfisher often forages around mud flats, catching mainly small crabs and other crustaceans. Sometimes it catches a fish or two or even a mudskipper. Inland, it catches insects, tadpoles, frogs and lizards. With small crabs, the... Read More

Mark of the Oriental Pied Hornbill on the papaya fruit

07 Nov 2008   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-plants, Hornbills No Comments »
Contributed by Tan Teo Seng & YC
Mark of the Oriental Pied Hornbill on the papaya fruit Tan Teo Seng recently sent me a few papaya (Carica papays) fruits from his farm in Kota Tinggi in Johor, Malaysia. He observed the Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) at various times trying to eat them. However, as the fruits were just beginning to ripen and not soft enough for the bill to penetrate, the bird simply left its mark on the skin. The image above shows a characteristic, incomplete “teardrop” mark on the fruit. The bird must have returned... Read More

Mistletoebird of Australia

07 Nov 2008   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by willis
Mistletoebird of Australia Mistletoebird (Dicaeum hirundinaceum) is also known as Australian Flowerpecker and Mistletoe Flowerpecker. The bird is confined to Australia, the Moluccas, Tanimbar and Aru Islands. This flowerpecker is found wherever there are mistletoes, plants of the family Loranthaceae. The birds help pollinate the mistletoe flowers when they visit to take the nectar and pollen from the flowers. They also take the ripe fruits (above), expertly squeezing them out of their outer case... Read More

Common Kingfisher bashing fish on the perch

06 Nov 2008   in Feeding strategy, Kingfishers No Comments »
Contributed by Lee Tiah Khee
Common Kingfisher bashing fish on the perch KC Tsang’s earlier post of a Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) bashing a fish it caught is supplemented here by photographer Lee Tiah Khee’s image of another Common Kingfisher in the act of bashing a fish it just caught against its perch. Note that the bird again has the tail end of the fish clamped in its bill and is bashing the head against the perch. The force is so great that the image clearly shows the resulting spray of water droplets and probably also... Read More

Common Kingfisher handling fish

06 Nov 2008   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-vertebrates, Kingfishers No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Common Kingfisher handling fish KC Tsang was among those who were at Jurong in late October 2008 to greet the Common Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris), an uncommon winter visitor to Singapore. “It was late this morning at the Japanese Gardens, that I had the opportunity of witnessing the violent way that a Common Kingfisher dispatched with it’s catch. “The bird was at it’s usual post, these birds have a habit of going back to it’s favorite perch. Suddenly in a split second the bird... Read More

Blue-winged Pitta in a glass crash

05 Nov 2008   in Collision-Reflection, Rescue 2 Comments »
Contributed by Liangyuan Wong
Blue-winged Pitta in a glass crash Liangyuan Wong wrote in on the evening of the 30th October 2008 as a Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis) had just crashed onto the glass window of his home in Bishan. It was after 7.30 pm then and he wanted to know whether he could release the bird early next morning. During the interim, the bird tried to fly out of the house and again crashed onto the glass window. The bird was stunned but not injured in any other way. It was kept indoors in a basket and covered with a... Read More

Chinese Egret, problems of identification

05 Nov 2008   in Heron-Egret-Bittern 1 Comment »
Contributed by R. Subaraj, Morten Strange, Mark Andrews & Mendis Tan
Chinese Egret, problems of identification The posting of a Chinese Egret (Egretta eulophotes) sighted at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve sparked a minor controversy on its identification. Morten Strange had a look at the images and wrote: “This is always a tough one. Mendis could be right. But I would say with this one that there is a 90% chance that this is a Pacific Reef Egret (Egretta sacra). I say this on the shape of the bill and the short legs showing well at take-off (both thigh and tarsus bone). It seems... Read More

Barbets and papaya

04 Nov 2008   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Barbets and papaya Following an earlier post on the Gold-whiskered Barbet (Megalaima chrysopogon) feeding on a papaya, Daisy O’Neill sent in her images of a Red-throated (Megalaima mystacophanos) (above left) as well as a Gold-whiskered similarly (above right) feeding on the papay (Carica papaya). “This is very true. I have been observing a GWB adult in June/July 2008 strategising his approach and in pecking order that the GWB had to share the papaya with the Red-Throated Barbet –... Read More

Charlie Moores and the von Schrenck’s Bittern

04 Nov 2008   in Heron-Egret-Bittern, Reports No Comments »
Contributed by YC, Charlie Moores & R Subaraj
Charlie Moores and the von Schrenck's Bittern Charlie Moores is one of three who run 10,000 Birds. Founded by Mike Bergin, this very popular birding blog is based in the US. And was I surprised to learn that Charlie operates from his base in Britain. But then he is travelling around the world most of the time. In fact he was in Singapore only a few days ago, on 31st October 2008, to be exact. That’s him on the left with KC Tsang. The very next day after he arrived, he was off to Sime Road to bird. And as luck... Read More