• 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,...

Extinct birds of Singapore: Trogons

03 Feb 2008   in Species No Comments »
Contributed by Morten Strange & YC
Extinct birds of Singapore: Trogons Trogons (Family Trogonidae) are a small group of rainforest birds. They are shy and difficult to see, unless you are familiar with their calls. They remain in the interior of the forest, sitting quietly on a horizontal branch, waiting patiently for prey. Once spotted, the bird seizes the prey in a matter of seconds to return to the perch to eat it quietly. Movements by these birds are thus minimal. The bird moves to the ground only to catch prey. On the ground, it has... Read More

Himalayan Swiftlet: 1. Sighting

02 Feb 2008   in Swifts-Swallows 10 Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang (text-image) & R Subaraj (text)
Himalayan Swiftlet: 1. Sighting On 7th January 2008 at 1047 hours, KC Tsang was witness to a number of Himalayan Swiftlets (Aerodramus brevirostris) among a flock of swifts and Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) hunting for insects stirred up by grass cutting activity at the grounds of Turf Club City. The number of birds hovering around was about 50. The occurrence of Himalayan Swiftlet in Singapore has been mired in controversy since the 1990s when R. Subaraj, among others, first reported it as an uncommon... Read More

Olive-backed Sunbird: Collecting nesting materials

01 Feb 2008   in Nesting, Sunbirds No Comments »
Contributed by YC
Olive-backed Sunbird: Collecting nesting materials Fronting my house is a Golden Penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) tree that was replaced many months ago and the newly planted tree is supported by posts. The posts are being secured to the tree trunk with red nylon ropes. In an effort to ensure that the bark is not damaged, a piece of synthetic fabric was wrapped round the trunk. The piece of fabric has since worn away by sun and rain, such that the fabric is fraying and the white fibres sticking out all over. Of late, a... Read More

Bird watching in Bali: 2. Ubud & Bedugul Botanic Gardens

31 Jan 2008   in Travel-Personality No Comments »
Contributed by - see article -
Bali, an Indonesian island west of Java, has always projected an image of a tropical paradise to visitors – sun, sea and sand. The island is picturesque, the people friendly and the culture rich and at the same time mystifying. Besides, the cost is always affordable to budget tourists. Standard packages offered to tourists wishing to visit Bali seldom cover bird watching. In fact when Connie SY Khoo and Lim Phaik Imm, suggested bird watching, travel agents invariably... Read More

Saraca and sunbirds

30 Jan 2008   in Feeding-plants, Plants, Sunbirds No Comments »
Contributed by James Heng
Saraca and sunbirds James Heng was at Lower Peirce in late January 2008 when he came across a sarcaca tree, possibly yellow saraca (Saraca thaipingensis), in full bloom: “There are about five pairs of Purple Throated Sunbirds (Nectariniua sperata) feeding voraciously on the flowers of a tree at Lower Pierce Reservoir (above). “That flowering saraca tree is a magnet for the birds of the Nectariniidae family. At one point in time this afternoon, there were four species of sunbirds –... Read More

Save our albizia trees

29 Jan 2008   in Conservation, Plants 3 Comments »
Contributed by YC & Ho Hua Chew
Save our albizia trees Albizia (Paraserianthes falcataria) trees have been in the local news since the recent spate of tree falls that resulted in a number of people being injured and even killed – locally as well as in neighbouring Malaysia. As a result of the bad publicity in the media, various government agencies have been quick to remove these large and graceful trees from wastelands all over Singapore. The tree is native to countries in east Malesia to the Solomons. It was introduced... Read More

A sparrowhawk crash-landed in Hougang

28 Jan 2008   in Raptors, Rescue 2 Comments »
Contributed by Daniel Koh
A sparrowhawk crash-landed in Hougang A bird flew onto the balcony of Daniel Koh’s apartment in Hougang on the night of 17th January 2008 at around 2200 hours. The bird did not appear to be physically hurt but in shock. Daniel kept it overnight in a large cage for observations. Initially thought to be a cuckoo, Daniel soon realized that it was a raptor, from the looks of the claws. He later identified it as a Japanese Sparrowhawk (Accipiter gularis). The next morning the bird appeared restless and so it was... Read More

Mobbing of Spotted Wood Owl at Toa Payoh

27 Jan 2008   in Owls 2 Comments »
Contributed by Gloria Seow
Mobbing of Spotted Wood Owl at Toa Payoh The loud cawing of crows outside her apartment window alerted Gloria Seow to an exciting spectacle of an owl being mobbed… “Unbelievably, a Spotted Wood Owl (Strix seloputo) appeared at 2pm on 19th January 2008 in the most unlikely of places – on a tree just outside my 12th floor flat in Toa Payoh, a housing estate in Singapore with towering flats up to 40 stories high. However, my house happens to be located just beside a grove of shady mature trees providing... Read More

Common Tailorbird: Another failed nesting

26 Jan 2008   in Nesting-failed 3 Comments »
Contributed by Tan Teo Seng
Common Tailorbird: Another failed nesting On the morning of 7th November 2007, Tan Teo Seng brought me a cutting of a creeper with a Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) nest still attached to it. Inside were three damaged eggs. The nest was attached to a number of aerial roots of the creeper and a single leaf of the climber, an araceous plant. A single dried avocado (Persea americana) leaf was sewn to the leaf of the climber to complete the shell within which the nest was lodged (above left). Copious cobwebs... Read More

Orange-headed Thrush: Observations on a rare winter visitor

25 Jan 2008   in Migration-Migrants 2 Comments »
Contributed by Tan Gim Cheong
Orange-headed Thrush: Observations on a rare winter visitor On the cloudy morning (1000-1100 hours) of 15th January 2008, Tan Gim Cheong was at Hindhede Quarry, Bukt Timah Nature Reserve when he encountered an Orange-headed Thrush (Zoothera citrina)… “Arrived at Hindhede to the sound of a large group of people having team building activities. “Looked around and located the beautiful Orange-headed Thrush (which betrayed its presence with its singing) on the ground. Moving about on the ground, it sang for about 10 minutes,... Read More