• 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,...

Rufescent Prinia – calls

12 Aug 2014   in Videography, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Rufescent Prinia - calls “Rufescent Prinia (Prinia rufescens extrema) are not as common as the Yellow-bellied Prinia (Prinia flaviventris) but can be mistaken at first glance or if only the head and upper breast are seen. “However the calls made by both species are very different. The Rufescent Prinia has a number of calls, I heard 4 this morning. 1. One is a strident call that comes in runs of 3-7 (see audio recording HERE and video (above) and waveform-sonogram below. 2. Another a softer... Read More

Grey Crowned Crane courtship dance

11 Aug 2014   in Miscellaneous, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Lena Chow
Grey Crowned Crane courtship dance “A pair of African Grey Crowned Cranes (Balearica regulorum), believed to have been released from a pet farm in the Seletar area a year or two ago, has been attracting attention from birders and non-birders alike for some time now, since these big magnificent birds were first spotted at open fields near Seletar airbase. “Since the beginning of this year, they have been appearing regularly at the golf course at Seletar Country Club, and I managed to capture one of them... Read More

Plantain Squirrel collecting nesting material

10 Aug 2014   in Fauna No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee & Dr Leong Tzi Ming
Plantain Squirrel collecting nesting material The above image shows a Plantain Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus), also known as Red-bellied Squirrel, collecting dried plant material from the nest of the Staghorn’s Fern (Platycerium bifurcatum). These are used to line its nest (below). The nest is a spherical structure built high up in a tree, or in the image below, between the frond base of a Lipstick Palm (Cyrtostachys renda). This squirrel s widespread in Singapore, found in nearly all habitats and commonly seen... Read More

Pallas’s Grasshopper-warbler or Rusty-rumped Warbler

09 Aug 2014   in Species No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Pallas's Grasshopper-warbler or Rusty-rumped Warbler “The Pallas’s Grasshopper-warbler or Rusty-rumped Warbler (Locustella certhiola) is the second of the three reed warblers and behaves more like a mouse/rat than a bird. As one colleague stated, the local name for the bird is ‘Burung Tikus’ which means ‘mouse bird’. “It occupied a very small area of around 9-10 meters of a muddy ditch where Xanthosoma sagittifolium (a wild form of Caladium) grows. It can be spotted at the same site on every... Read More

Oriental Pied Hornbill Family

08 Aug 2014   in uncategorised 5 Comments »
Contributed by Kwong Wai Chong
Oriental Pied Hornbill Family “Some good news to share. My old friend, the male Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) (above) that has a condition on his left eye LINK, has successfully raised two offspring with his mate (below). Way back in January 2011, this pair was seen prospecting for a nesting cavity. Not sure whether they have any success then but surely happy to learn that they are successful now. “This family of four was first spotted on 26th July 2014. They were foraging in... Read More

Rufous-winged Philentoma’s calls

07 Aug 2014   in Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Rufous-winged Philentoma's calls “I last saw these locally ‘Near Threatened bordering on Vulnerable’ Rufous-winged Philentomas (Philentoma pyrhoptera pyrhoptera) exactly one year ago but at a different forest reserve. A pair was seen today with the male either moulting or immature (above). “At one point the male was singing directly overhead but the dark canopy precluded any good images (above). “I am more certain about calls and there are 3 common ones – the classical loud two... Read More

The banana plant and its complement of fauna

06 Aug 2014   in Fauna, Plants, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
The banana plant and its complement of fauna On January 2013 Tan Teo Seng gave me a young banana plant (Musa edible cultivar) in a small polybag. It was a tissue culture plant, produced for the banana plantations in Malaysia. I transferred the plant into the soil and within nine months it put out a huge inflorescence that developed into a large bunch of fruits (below left). In June 2014 the oldest of my second-generation plants suddenly sprouted its inflorescence. I did not see it emerging from the top the day... Read More

© Insights To Blue-winged Pittas Part 2

05 Aug 2014   in Morphology-Develop. No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
 © Insights To Blue-winged Pittas Part 2 “Pitta identification: Who is who? “My first sighting of Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis) for 2014 came on 14th March at Itam Dalam Forest Reserve (IDFR) Province Wellesley (Seberang Perai), Penang, Peninsular Malaysia. “My observations had me not only to discern bird differences from one to another, but also the challenging task of differentiating their sexes. There were no less than four, fairly common winter breeding visitors and passage Peninsular... Read More

White-browed Crake’s calls

04 Aug 2014   in Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
White-browed Crake’s calls “The calls of the White-browed Crake (Porzana cinerea) (above) are inadequately documented in my region (Wells 1999). I have heard at least 5 different calls, but documentation of them has been difficult due to the secretive nature of this bird. Today I spent time with 6 birds, 3 pairs, and 4 were quite accommodating, even allowing a very close approach. I managed to document 4 of the different calls. “This post has a short recording of the most uncommon and most... Read More

Blue-throated Bee-eater caught a bee

03 Aug 2014   in Bee-eaters, Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee
Blue-throated Bee-eater caught a bee Johnny Wee’s image of a Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis) with a bee clamped between its bill is as refreshing as that of a spiderhunter catching a spider LINK. Because of what they are commonly called, people expect them to live up to their names. But then bee-eaters take other insects most of the time and photographers love to display them with a dragonfly LINK – more eye-catching than with a smaller bee, I suppose. In the case of spiderhunters, they are more... Read More