• 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,...

House Swift nesting

14 May 2008   in Nesting 1 Comment »
Contributed by Lin Yangchen
House Swift nesting “Yesterday I noticed a group of four to five House Swifts (Apus affinis) circling in the airspace under an Mass Rapid Transit viaduct at around 0900 hours. The weather was fair. Two of them deviated from the circular trajectory at regular intervals to ascend towards, but not establish contact with, a nest glued under the viaduct adjacent to one of the pillars (left). By 0945 hours they were nowhere to be seen. “There were two additional nests joined to each other (as... Read More

When birds die, they get recycled!

14 May 2008   in Miscellaneous 1 Comment »
Contributed by Aydin Örstan
When birds die, they get recycled! Aydin Örstan from Maryland, US read the early post on “Where do birds go when they die?” and sent me a link to his series of posts on the same question, “Where do all the dead birds go?” With Aydin’s permission, I am summarising his series of posts that you can view in full HERE: 1, 2 and 3. A Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) was picked up on a sidewalk. From the condition of the dead bird, it was obvious that it had died probably not... Read More

Feast of termites under a lamp post

13 May 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman
Feast of termites under a lamp post In the Pahang town of Raub in Peninsula Malaysia, Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman had a late night and woke up on 1st May 2008 (May Day holiday) to find a party going on in front of his house. The night before was raining and swarms of winged termites gathered around the street lamps, attracted by the light. By morning most of the winged termites were on the ground below, crawling about and with wings discarded. These termites would have attracted numerous birds the evening... Read More

Where do birds go when they die?

12 May 2008   in Miscellaneous 5 Comments »
Contributed by YC
Where do birds go when they die? The recent post on the Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) chick that was predated by a cat brings to mind a common question many people ask: “Where do birds go when they die?” A related question I was recently asked was “Do birds die?” Such questions are understandable (or are they?), considering that with so many birds around, it is not common to come across dead birds. Banding activities in our Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserves have shown that most of the... Read More

Short-tailed Babbler

12 May 2008   in Species No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Short-tailed Babbler “The Short-tailed Babbler (Malacocincla malaccensis) is another one of those sulky, secretive denizens of the deep dark forest, hiding under cover most of the time, flies for short distances, hops around on the forest floor like a little mammal looking for worms, grubs or other insects. The birds calls mainly at dawn and is very sweet to the ears. “The bird is an uncommon resident, restricted to the understorey of dry forests and to freshwater... Read More

Gold-whiskered Barbet eating a flowerpecker

11 May 2008   in Barbet-To'can-H'guide, Feeding-vertebrates 2 Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
Gold-whiskered Barbet eating a flowerpecker In August 2007 Adrian Lim a.k.a. wmw998 had the rare opportunity of witnessing a Gold-whiskered Barbet (Megalaima chrysopogon) capturing a small bird in Taman Rimba Ampang in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The barbet was first spotted in the tree, looking for fruits and possibly insects (above). Along came a small bird that Adrian thought was a juvenile sunbird, also looking for food. Then suddenly, the ‘sunbird’, flew off into the bushes, followed by the barbet. The... Read More

Silver-breasted Broadbill swallowing cicada

10 May 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Roger Moo
Silver-breasted Broadbill swallowing cicada In March 2008, Roger Moo a.k.a. cactus400D documented a Silver-breasted Broadbill (Serilophus lunatus) in Malaysia catching a cicada and swallowing it. The photographers were just assembling when the broadbill suddenly flew in and perched on a branch of a nearby tree. It had a cicada in its bill (above). This naturally provided an excellent photo opportunity. The bird kept on “…jerking, shaking vigorously, swinging its head from one side to the other, trying hard to... Read More

Spotted Dove sunbathing

09 May 2008   in Feathers-maintenance No Comments »
Contributed by YC
Spotted Dove sunbathing Lately, a pair of Spotted Doves (Streptopelia chinensis) have adopted my garden, visiting a few times a day to forage and to sunbathe. Initially, I managed to see only one large bird lazing on the driveway, raising its wings to soak in the sun (left). I only noticed it when I walked out of the house and th bird noisely flew off into the garden. Besides the characteristic loud flapping, also made by other pigeons like Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans), my attention... Read More

Strange behaviour of a pair of Brown-throated Sunbirds

09 May 2008   in Sunbirds No Comments »
Contributed by Susan Wong Chor Mun
Strange behaviour of a pair of Brown-throated Sunbirds Susan Wong Chor Mun of Malaysia sent in this observation on 29th April 2008: “I spotted this two female birds fly in and perched about one foot above the ground side by side (facing each other) on another perch earlier. What attracted me was, I noticed that these two birds seemed to communicate with each other. “During my observations, I noticed that these two birds did not call. They were stretching their legs with up and down motions and turning or shaking their... Read More

Gold-whiskered Barbet preying on Eurasian Tree Sparrow

08 May 2008   in Barbet-To'can-H'guide, Feeding-vertebrates, Interspecific 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman
Gold-whiskered Barbet preying on Eurasian Tree Sparrow On 2nd May 2008, Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman photographed a Gold-whiskered Barbet (Megalaima chrysopogon) catching an Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) at his backyard in the Pahang town of Raub in Malaysia. The barbet caught the sparrow in the jambu tree (Syzygium sp.) and flew across the small stream, to perch on a branch of the petai tree (Parkia speciosa) (above). There, it bashed the helpless sparrow again and again on the branch (below) until most of its feathers... Read More