• 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,...

Crimson Sunbird feeding on nectar of Devil’s Backbone

04 Apr 2014   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Crimson Sunbird feeding on nectar of Devil's Backbone “A breathtaking brilliant Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) that has informally been proposed by Singaporean bird watchers as the national bird. A friendly bird and this male allowed close observation as it fed on the nectar of the Devil’s Backbone or Slipper Flower (Euphorbia tithymaloides/Pedilanthus tithymaloides). “The iridescent forecrown has been noted in some literature as ‘dark green’ Robson (2002) and in others as ‘metallic green or... Read More

Sunbird, Bee And the Drumstick Tree

03 Apr 2014   in Fauna, Feeding-invertebrates, Feeding-plants, Sunbirds, Videography 5 Comments »
Contributed by Sun Chong Hong
Sunbird, Bee And the Drumstick Tree “There is a Drumstick tree (Moringa oleifera) in my condo. Other than a hanging-parrot which was suspected to be a Blue-crowned Hanging-parrot (Loriculus galgulus) seen about two years ago, I have not noticed any other bird being attracted to this tree. “About a month ago, however, I observed that the tree was in full bloom, with wilted flowers scattered all over the ground below the tree. While spending time to examine the intricate structure of the immature seedpods, I... Read More

BLACK MAGPIES COLLECTING NESTING MATERIAL

02 Apr 2014   in Nesting, Videography 3 Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Leong Tzi Ming & Gary Lim
BLACK MAGPIES COLLECTING NESTING MATERIAL “On the late morning of 19th February 2014, a pair of Black Magpies (Platysmurus leucopterus) was spotted along a forest edge in Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia. They had descended onto the forest floor and were expressing interest in the lush, green moss that was growing upon the rocks and boulders (above). “After the initial inspection of the moss and satisfied with its quality and quantity, they began to collect these bryophytes with their beak (above).... Read More

White-winged Tern – odd behaviour

01 Apr 2014   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS & Dave Bakewell
White-winged Tern - odd behaviour “Saw this odd behaviour of one White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) that lay down on a partially dried up lake bed. Remained immobile for about a minute and then saw me and stood up. It is not injured. I wonder if the extremely hot weather and prolonged dry spell has made this tern try and cool off.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 28th February 2014 Location: Malim Nawar Wetlands, Perak, Malaysia Habitat: Extensive ex-tin mining area with... Read More

The St. Andrew’s Cross Spiders and birds

31 Mar 2014   in Fauna, Interspecific 1 Comment »
Contributed by Johnny Wee, Am, Dr Leong Tzi Ming & YC Wee
The St. Andrew’s Cross Spiders and birds If you are walking along the forest edge, you may encounter a spider’s web with a prominent pure white “X” in the centre. Take a closer look. The entire web may not be very visible, but the central cross is. The cross-shaped structure is made up of zigzag bands of shiny pure white silk. Resting on this cross is the spider, head pointing downwards, legs paired and outstretched to align with the cross (above). Thus the common name, St. Andrew’s Cross (Argiope... Read More

Nesting behaviour of the Eurasian Tree-sparrow in Seoul, Korea

30 Mar 2014   in Nesting 1 Comment »
Contributed by Thong Chow Ngian
Nesting behaviour of the Eurasian Tree-sparrow in Seoul, Korea On 20th March 2014 that was World Sparrow Day, BESG posted an article highlighting the reluctance of local birdwatchers to observe the common Eurasian Tree-sparrow (Passer montanus) LINK. Because of this disinterest, information on this sparrow is limited. Thong Chow Ngian responded to the post and sent in a series of images on this sparrow nesting in a hole in what appeared to be a willow tree that grew in the grounds of the giant bus bay in Seoul Zoo. The images were taken... Read More

Frugivory by spiderhunter Arachnothera species in Peninsular Malaysia

29 Mar 2014   in Feeding-plants, Photography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee & Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Frugivory by spiderhunter Arachnothera species in Peninsular Malaysia Based on observations made over 10 days between October 2009 and March 2012 in Perak and Pahang in Peninsular Malaysia, Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS has finally published his findings (above). Spiderhunters, as the name suggests, feed mainly on spiders. In addition, they take insects and nectar. There have also been casual mention of them feeding on fruits in the literature but no specifics, that is, until now. Amar’s evidence comes in his many photographs of spiderhunters... Read More

Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno)

28 Mar 2014   in Species, Travel-Personality No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang & Lbou
Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) KC Tsang was in Costa Rica in February 2014 where he visited the Valley of San Gerardo de Dota and trekked up the mountain to the cloud forest at an altitude of 2,200-3,025 metres. There he managed to photograph the near-threatened and uncommon Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno). It was a reward worthy of traveling halfway round the world lugging his camera (Nikon 1 V2, ft1, TC2, 300mm f/2.8) and tripod with him. The Resplendent Quetzal, in its... Read More

GREY HERONS – PANTING and PREENING

27 Mar 2014   in Miscellaneous, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Leong Tzi Ming
GREY HERONS - PANTING and PREENING “On a scorching Saturday afternoon of 15th March 2014, I was monitoring a small colony of Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea) at a river mouth in Singapore (above). “As the sun was bearing down on them, I wondered how they were coping with the oppressive heat. Despite the occasional sea breeze, a number of herons were observed to be actively panting (gular fluttering) with their beaks parted (above). “A caring and panting parent heron even faced its back to the sun to... Read More

Flowering of Pigeon Orchids (Dendrobium crumenatum)

26 Mar 2014   in Fauna, Plants No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Flowering of Pigeon Orchids (Dendrobium crumenatum) I was in my garden on the morning of 25th March 2014 when I detected a peculiar smell in the air. The smell was familiar, yet unfamiliar. It was a little pungent and overpowering, as if something was burning. For a moment I thought it came from the nearby road where for the past six months and more, workers were busy constructing anti-ponding works – digging the road and drains… Then suddenly my attention was drawn to the bunch of Pigeon Orchids (Dendrobium crumenatum)... Read More