• 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,...

Does Asian Koel ejects House Crow’s eggs?

15 Dec 2008   in Brood parasitism, Crows 2 Comments »
Contributed by YC
Does Asian Koel ejects House Crow’s eggs? The Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) is a cuckoo, and like many cuckoos, it is a brood parasite. The female koel lays her eggs in the nest of one or more species of hosts, allowing the latter to incubate her eggs and feed her chicks until they are fledged and for some time after. In Singapore it has always been assumed that the Asian Koel’s host is the House Crow (Corvus splendens). Evidence that this was so only came in the mid-2000s (Wee, 2005). The drama started in... Read More

Collared Scops Owl feeding fledgling

14 Dec 2008   in Feeding chicks, Owls 2 Comments »
Contributed by Lee Tiah Khee
Collared Scops Owl feeding fledgling Lee Tiah Khee was with KC one dark night in October 2008 when they heard the distinct call of an owl around a tree. Sensing that something was amiss, they located an adult Collared Scops Owl (Otus bakkamoena) arriving on a branch with a lizard clamped in its bill. The lizard was headless, apparently a result of an earlier struggle. Suddenly the hungry fledgling appeared on a nearby branch, having heard the adult arriving. Immediately the adult passed the dead lizard to the... Read More

Syzygium sp. and the birds it attracts

14 Dec 2008   in Feeding-plants 1 Comment »
Contributed by Roger Moo
Syzygium sp. and the birds it attracts Roger Moo a.k.a. Cactus400D photographed a male Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) visiting a jambu tree (Syzygium sp.) to drink the nectar from the flowers. “…Heard the noise – so tiny and skittish. Came in together with the Purple-backed Starling (Sturnus sturninus). In fact today, the Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier), Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis), Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis), Common Dove and the Javan Myna... Read More

Food for a kingfisher and a bee-eater

13 Dec 2008   in Bee-eaters, Feeding-invertebrates, Feeding-vertebrates, Kingfishers 1 Comment »
Contributed by Subaraj Rajathurai
Food for a kingfisher and a bee-eater “While surveying birds at Tuas recently, Sham and I had a few good observations. In nice sunny weather, birds were quite active. With the help of my lumix, I managed to snap some nice shots. This included two common, pretty birds feeding. “One was the White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis), a common resident of open country, feeding on a Garden Supple Skink (Lygosoma bowringii). The skink is a common, short-legged, worm-like reptile of gardens and... Read More

Hooded Pitta at Jurong Lake Park

13 Dec 2008   in Migration-Migrants, Species No Comments »
Contributed by G Sreedharan
Hooded Pitta at Jurong Lake Park G Sreedharan photographed a Hooded Pitta (Pitta sordida) at Singapore’s Jurong Lake Park on the mid-afternoon of 30th November 2008. “Bird 
spent most of the time up on several different trees. Another sighting was reported in Chinese Garden a day earlier. It could be the same 
bird which implies that it may be moving over a wide area (Chinese Garden, Japanese Garden, Jurong Lake Park).” Over at Bididari, Con Foley also encountered a Hooded Pitta on 7th... Read More

Terek Sandpiper: Foraging behaviour

12 Dec 2008   in Feeding-invertebrates, Waders No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Terek Sandpiper: Foraging behaviour KC Tsang wrote after his trip to nearby Johor, Malaysia in early December 2008: “The Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus) is an amazingly active feeder – I was observing it sprinting from one position to another, from distances of three to ten feet. It also changes directions in a very abrupt manner… On having ascertained that the prey is below the mud surface, the bird would then jab it’s long up-curved bill into the soft mud, turning and twisting it as it... Read More

Spectacled Spiderhunter and passiflora

11 Dec 2008   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Adrian Lim
Spectacled Spiderhunter and passiflora The Spectacled Spiderhunter (Arachnothera flavigaster) used to occur in Singapore, but no more. However, it is still a resident of nearby Malaysia. As the name implies, it is supposed to hunt spiders. However, it is more known for its nectar diet than its animal diet. According to Wells (2007), its nectar source includes coconut (Cocos nucifera), coral tree (Erythrina spp.), rose apple (Syzygium jambos), durian (Durio zibethinus), African tulip (Spathodea campanulata),... Read More

Nesting saga of Peaceful Doves: Part 6 of 6

11 Dec 2008   in Nesting, Pigeon-Dove 1 Comment »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Nesting saga of Peaceful Doves: Part 6 of 6 Stripy and Silva, the pair of Peaceful Doves (Geopelia striata) was seen again. Copulation took place on 5th October 2008. They seemed to uncannily know the best time for their nesting – two days prior to another of my birding trip. They came to finish some incomplete business (below left) Perhaps, they were tipped off by their experienced ally – Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) and family by lending the use of their old ‘mansions’ for a safer haven in... Read More

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker and melastoma

10 Dec 2008   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Willis
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker and melastoma Melastoma or Singapore rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum) is a common weed shrub of open grounds. It is neither a rhododendron nor does it originates from Singapore. The dark purple berries attract many species of birds, among which is the attractive Orange-bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma). Willis spent some time in May 2008 in the Panti forest in nearby Johoe, Malaysia documenting this bird relishing on the melastoma fruits. The seeds appear as pale dots... Read More

Red-wattled Lapwing defending its chick

10 Dec 2008   in Miscellaneous 2 Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee
Red-wattled Lapwing defending its chick While out photographing birds at Sungei Balang in nearby Johor, Malaysia recently, Johnny Wee had an exciting encounter with an aggressive Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus). There were no signs of any lapwings around, nesting or otherwise but obviously the nest was well hidden somewhere. Suddenly, shrill cries filled the air as one Red-wattled Lapwing flew directly at Johnny. The other bird was on the ground, crying loudly. It was then that the chick was spotted some... Read More