• 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,...

Starling and bulbul feeding on mango fruit

12 Jul 2014   in Feeding-plants, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Teo Lee Wei & K
Teo Lee Wei & K & K’s video clips show the feeding behaviour of a juvenile Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis) and a family of three Yellow-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus goiavier) feeding on the ripe fruit of the mango (Mangifer indica). The starling perches on the fruit stalk to peck on the flesh (above). After it has enough, it flies to a high-tension wire to clean its bill. With the family of Yellow-vented Bulbul, the three birds take turns to feast on... Read More

Bats Roosting in my porch: 4. Success with early morning arrivals

11 Jul 2014   in Fauna 3 Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Bats Roosting in my porch: 4. Success with early morning arrivals The last post on efforts to discourage roosting of the Common Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) in my porch saw partial success LINK. A pair of powerful spotlights was directed towards where the bats normally roost. In addition, 28 Compact Discs (CDs) were placed on the ground below the roosting area with the shiny surfaces facing up. The bats arrived between 1930-2030 hours and roosted on the roof. Only when efforts were made to cause reflections on the discs did the bats... Read More

The Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)

10 Jul 2014   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-invertebrates, Species No Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee & Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
The Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis) Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis) is a member of the Roller family Coraciidae. Members of this family are so-named because of their rolling courtship flight display. The common name Dollarbird comes from the prominent pale blue coin-shaped spots towards the tips of the wings against a background of dark blue (above). These spots are thought to resemble the American silver dollar coin. Dollarbirds are often seen perched on a bare branch high in a tree (above). This gives... Read More

Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker applying plant sap to feathers

09 Jul 2014   in Feathers-maintenance, Videography 4 Comments »
Contributed by Lena Chow
Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker applying plant sap to feathers “On a recent birding trip to West Bali National Park, Indonesia, I came across yet another woodpecker which seems to be applying tree sap to its feathers. “This female Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos macei) was interestingly tapping for sap from a dead tree. “The Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense) was earlier sighted making use of the sap of the Tamalan Tree (Dalbergia oliveri) for the same purpose, see HERE.” Lena Chow Singapore 19th June... Read More

In search of the Maleo in Northern Sulawesi

08 Jul 2014   in Conservation, Nesting 1 Comment »
Contributed by Samson Tan
In search of the Maleo in Northern Sulawesi The Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo), a chicken-like bird, is an endangered species according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (above). The total population in the world is estimated to be between 8,000 and 14,000 individuals and declining. These are confined to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Samson Tan’s earlier visit to Tangkoko National Park in North Sulawesi specifically to see this endangered bird was a disappointment. He was informed that Bogani Nani... Read More

Banded Kingfisher injured female

07 Jul 2014   in Interspecific, Kingfishers No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS & Krys Kazmierczak
Banded Kingfisher injured female “I was trailing a raptor (Crested Goshawk) in primary forest adjacent to a stream when I almost stepped on this adult female Banded Kingfisher (Lacedo pulchella pulchella). “She appeared dazed and was extensively covered in ants. I did not bother much with images (so images here are taken later when I had some time) and enabled her to move further on the rocky riverside surface, away from the mass of ants. “The above image shows the bird with ants and nictitating... Read More

Bats Roosting in my porch: 3. Partial success with lights and CDs

06 Jul 2014   in Fauna 4 Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Bats Roosting in my porch: 3. Partial success with lights and CDs This post follows two earlier ones in my search for a solution to rid my porch of roosting Common Fruit Bats (Cynopterus brachyotis): HERE and HERE (above). The video clip above shows the bats that arrived after dusk (between 1934-1944 hours) to roost in the porch. There were about seven bats that eventually roosted on the roof – despite the two spotlights that were switched on. Note that at 1.27 minutes, a string of Compact Discs (CDs) were places below, shiny... Read More

The Clouded Monitor and the Banded Bullfrog

05 Jul 2014   in Fauna, Videography, Vocalisation 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dr Leong Tzi Ming & Johnny Wee
The Clouded Monitor and the Banded Bullfrog Johnny Wee encountered a Clouded Monitor (Varanus nebulosus) in Singapore’s Venus Drive in May 2014 (above). Clamped tight in its mouth was a Banded Bullfrog (Kaloula pulchra). The bullfrog was countering the monitor’s attempt at swallowing it by inflating its body. For 15 minutes the monitor tried its utmost to swallow its prey but failed. It eventually gave up and the bullfrog went free. Banded Bullfrogs are not native to Singapore. Commonly sold in pet shops, they... Read More

Little Spiderhunter – nectar feeding and calls

04 Jul 2014   in Feeding-plants, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Little Spiderhunter – nectar feeding and calls “The Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra cinireicollis) is still possible to find in selected green lung pockets in the city. Its diet is insect prey (spiders) and nectar. The nectar is taken from flowers of the wild gingers, wild bananas and the Coral tree (Erythrina sp.). The range of flowers fed on is much larger than currently known or documented. They included Passiflora (Passion fruit), Heliconia, Ixora, Powder puff, etc. “Spotted an adult feeding on... Read More

Bats Roosting in my porch: 2. Looking for a solution

03 Jul 2014   in Fauna 6 Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Bats Roosting in my porch: 2. Looking for a solution I had enjoyed the presence of small family of Common Fruit Bats (Cynopterus brachyotis) that roosted under the roof of my porch LINK (above left). As the novelty wore off, their presence became a nuisance. They dirtied the floor below with their excrements and discarded food. The excrements needed to be scrubbed off within the same day, least they become permanent stains (above right). So the next step was to get the bats to roost elsewhere – in the many trees... Read More