• 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,...

Striated Swallow – calls and preening

11 Oct 2014   in Feathers-maintenance, Videography, Vocalisation 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Striated Swallow – calls and preening “Had an opportunity to watch Striated Swallows (Hirundo striolata badia) up close, preening with many calls (above, below). [Please note: This species is now known as Rufous-bellied Swallow (Cecropis badia), an endemic to the Thai-Malay Peninsula - see comment by Subaraj Rajathurai below.] “Calls were predominantly the tremulous “schwirrrr” HERE and waveforms/sonograms below. “…and a sharp “cheenk” or “tweep” HERE and waveforms/sonograms... Read More

Bees and the Bilimbing Averrhoa bilimbi flowers

10 Oct 2014   in Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Bees and the Bilimbing Averrhoa bilimbi flowers The Bilimbing (Averrhoa bilimbi) is a smallish tree that is commonly planted for its sour fruits often used in Asian cooking. The flowers are reddish, in small bunches arising from the stem and branches of the tree. They open in the early morning and attract small bees that come for the pollen and nectar. The Stingless Bee (Trigona sp.) gathers the pollen grains (rich in protein and fat), storing them in the pair of pollen baskets located on the outer surface of the hind... Read More

A DRIPPY SUBJECT

09 Oct 2014   in Feathers-maintenance, Pigeon-Dove No Comments »
Contributed by Lee Chiu San
A DRIPPY SUBJECT  “It is generally believed that pigeons and doves do not bathe in the conventional manner of other birds. That is, they do not dip themselves into water and splash about, as do thrushes, starlings, parrots, white-eyes and many other species. This has been reported in ornithological and avicultural literature. However, it has been said that pigeons and doves wash themselves by rubbing against wet foliage after rain. “I have never seen a pigeon or a dove bathe,... Read More

Lesser Yellownape feeding on ants associated with Dischidia astephana

08 Oct 2014   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Lesser Yellownape feeding on ants associated with Dischidia astephana “My wife and I saw this lovely adult male Lesser Yellownape (Picus chlorolophus) for an extended period (above). “One curious behaviour was pecking at and licking these ‘fleshy growths’ on the trunk of a tree (above, below). It spent quite some time with them. I was considering some form of fruit feeding as I had just seen it feed on fruit (more on this later). “But after a discussion with Dr YC Wee of BESG (a botanist) who identified the plant as... Read More

Bats in my porch: 17. Folivory

07 Oct 2014   in Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Bats in my porch: 17. Folivory The food of the Common Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) consists of mainly fruits, nectar and pollen LINK 1 and LINK 2. However, it occasionally takes leaves as shown in the image on the left (arrow). The images below show two partially eaten leaves, displaying both sides for possible future identification. They were picked up below the roost. Leaves are usually chewed to extract the juice. The pulp as well as parts of the leaves end up on the ground below. Leaves... Read More

WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN FORAGING IN THE RAIN

06 Oct 2014   in Feathers-maintenance, Feeding-invertebrates, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN FORAGING IN THE RAIN “On the afternoon of 3rd September 2014, I was suddenly stranded in a shelter in a public park due to heavy rain. Despite the downpour, a White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) was undeterred and intently searching for food on the soggy ground (above). “As the soil became saturated with rainwater, many soil-dwelling invertebrates, such as worms and insects may be forced to the surface, offering a bounty of food items for the waterhen to feast on. In between... Read More

Juvenile Rufous-bellied Eagle mobbed

05 Oct 2014   in Interspecific, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Juvenile Rufous-bellied Eagle mobbed “I have occasional seen mynas group together and the flock chases off a raptor. Seen this happen with a White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), a Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) in my neighbourhood and other raptors. Today saw 20-25 Jungle Mynas (Acridotheres fuscus) (below) mobbed a juvenile Rufous-bellied Eagle (Hieraaetus kienerii) for quite some distance (above and bottom). “I am uncertain if this is the local Hieraaetus kienerii formosus or a... Read More

CHANGEABLE LIZARD – MALE DISPLAYS

04 Oct 2014   in Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Leong Tzi Ming
CHANGEABLE LIZARD – MALE DISPLAYS “In mid-September 2014, I was visibly distracted by the advertisement displays of a few mature male Changeable Lizards (Calotes versicolor, Agamidae) at a public park. After spending sufficient time soaking up the morning sun, they would put on their brightest colours, lower their gular flaps and start bobbing their heads up and down. “Such displays may be performed at ground level (above)… “…on a branch (above)… “…on a... Read More

Asian Glossy Starlings: Pre-roost gatherings

03 Oct 2014   in Roosting, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Asian Glossy Starlings: Pre-roost gatherings Every evening starting at around 1800h, the Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis), mostly juveniles, with some adults, will gather in my ceram palms (Rhopaloblaste ceramica) (above, below). Once on the fronds of the palm, they move about the fronds, sometimes pecking noisily at the edges of the leaflets, probably to feed on the insects. They do not stay long in the palm, flying off to be replaced by others flying in. Across the road, the two Mempat trees... Read More

Banded Woodpecker – male territorial conflict and calls

02 Oct 2014   in Miscellaneous, Videography, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Banded Woodpecker – male territorial conflict and calls “I was on the way out when I heard these unusual, mournful calls. Found these two male Banded Woodpecker (Picus miniaceus malaccense) involved in a territorial conflict (above). I did not see any female nearby. The image below is a composite of the same bird in call and at rest. “They were so intent on each other that I was ignored, even at 4-5 meters distance. Much of the time they stood their ‘ground’, with a face off. Intermittently they would burst out in a in... Read More