• 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,...

Common Kingfisher catching a prawn

23 Nov 2008   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Calvin Chang
Common Kingfisher catching a prawn Here again are images of a Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), this time catching a prawn and swallowing it. These images are part of a series taken by eager photographers in Jurong during the 2008 arrival of this winter visitor and passage migrant. These were taken by Calvin Chang a.k.a Deswitch at the Japanese Garden on 5th October. Unlike crabs, prawns are easy to manipulate. And whether prawn or crab, the kingfisher will soon cast a pellet consisting of the indigestible... Read More

Observing the nesting of the Mangrove Pitta

22 Nov 2008   in Nesting 8 Comments »
Contributed by Foo Sai Khoon
Observing the nesting of the Mangrove Pitta In June 2008, Foo Sai Khoon shared with members of Nature Pixels his image of the nesting of the Mangrove Pitta (Pitta megarhyncha). “As the image was captured at a nesting site, I apologise in advance that I am unable to divulge its location except that the image was taken in Pulau Ubin in 2006. “Mangrove Pittas are mainly restricted to Pulau Ubin and Pulau Tekong. Globally threatened (due to destruction of mangroves, their living habitat), they are secretive, live in... Read More

Nordmann’s Greenshank at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

22 Nov 2008   in Waders 4 Comments »
Contributed by Mendis Tan, David Li, Tan Kok Hui & Ong Tun Pin
Nordmann's Greenshank at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve The Nordmann’s Greenshank (Tringa guttifer) rarely over-winters in Singapore. When two birds were spotted on 15th November 2008 (and again the next day) at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, photographers and birdwatchers were naturally excited. Mendis Tan and David Li, both from SBWR, were informed and the former successfully photographed the bird and made it available on e-forums. David wrote: “The Nordmann’s Greenshank has been observed by Lau Jia Sheng,... Read More

Tragedy of a road kill: Mountain Bulbul II

21 Nov 2008   in Fledgling-Fledging, Illegal-Irresponsible, Intraspecific No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Tragedy of a road kill: Mountain Bulbul II What happened to the dragon fly? It took three full minutes for the female Mountain Bulbul (Hypsipetes mcclellandii) to realise there wasn’t any chick going to take her feed off her beak. She finally decided what she had to do with the winged insect. It became her snack (below). A two wheeler scooted round the bend and sent the parent bird to sprint and the latter made a dive for the undercover bush on the slope. What issued were excitable calls of frantic conversations... Read More

Tragedy of a road kill: Mountain Bulbul I

20 Nov 2008   in Feeding chicks, Intraspecific No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
Tragedy of a road kill: Mountain Bulbul I Fraser’s Hill at 1300 metres above sea level in Pahang state, Malaysia is just about the best place to enjoy a cool, relaxing, birding get-away and meeting up with sub-montane feathered friends (above) A visit to this old British colonial, post 1st World War, hill station is incomplete without a chance encounter of a trogon. At worst birding luck, the whimpering puppy cry call of a Red-headed Trogon (Harpactes erythrocepthalus) or the staccato stammering of a choked... Read More

Peregrine Falcon feasting on a Javna Myna

19 Nov 2008   in Feeding-vertebrates, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee
Peregrine Falcon feasting on a Javna Myna On 15th November 2008, Johnny Wee was at the Japanese Garden in Jurong when he encountered a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) with a Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) firmly gripped in its talons. The falcon took a while to settle down on the perch, pressing its prey against the perch with its feet. Using its sharp bill, it started pulling off the myna’s wing and tail feathers. It then went for the neck before ripping open the body cavity, pulling out the entrails... Read More

Arrivals of the Black Bazas

19 Nov 2008   in Migration-Migrants, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Arrivals of the Black Bazas KC Tsang had a busy week in November 2008 with the arrivals of the Black Bazas (Aviceda leuphotes) in Singapore. He first photographed this raptor on 4th November at Neo Tiew Lane where he sighted three birds. The next morning he encountered more birds at Bidadari cemetery. And on the 9th, he counted at least six birds at the same cemetery. He thinks that there are at least a dozen birds around. The Black Baza is a common winter visitor and passage migrant. Formerly scarce,... Read More

Grey Heron and Blue-tailed Bee-eater cooling off

18 Nov 2008   in Bee-eaters, Heron-Egret-Bittern, Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Choo Teik Ju & Lee Tiah Khee
Grey Heron and Blue-tailed Bee-eater cooling off The afternoon of 18th October 2008 was excessively hot at the Chinese garden in Jurong and Choo Teik Ju a.k.a. choo caught sight of a Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) cooling off (above left). Lee Tiah Khee has similarly caught a Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus) cooling off in the image on the right (above). Yes, birds cool off by panting. Opening its mouth allows evaporation to take place over an increased area. And evaporation cools the body. At the same time water... Read More

Flowering umbrella tree (Schefflera actinophylla) and birds

18 Nov 2008   in Feeding-plants, Interspecific, Plants No Comments »
Contributed by YC
Flowering umbrella tree (Schefflera actinophylla) and birds The umbrella tree (Schefflera actinophylla) is native of New Guinea and Australia. It attracts the Banded Woodpecker (Picus miniaceus) that comes for the ants that live at the base of leaf stipules (1, 2). The tree in my garden has since flowered and the flowers are attracting birds. A pair of Javan Mynas (Acridotheres javanicus) (above left) regular visits the flowers. They come mainly in the evenings to feast on the honey secreted by the flowers. They are very protective... Read More

Asian Emerald Cuckoo: Confirmed record for Singapore

17 Nov 2008   in Brood parasitism, Reports, Species 1 Comment »
Contributed by YC
Asian Emerald Cuckoo: Confirmed record for Singapore The Asian Emerald Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx maculates) has at long last been accepted by the Records Committee of the Nature Society (Singapore)’s Bird Group. This was formally accepted during its April 2008 meeting and reported in the Singapore Avifauna Vol. 22(8). A female (top left) together with an immature bird (top right) were photographed by birder-photographer KC Tsang as far back as 31st May 2006 at Upper Seletar Reservoir and submitted to the committee. The... Read More