• 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,...

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

White-breasted Waterhen eating bananas

25 Mar 2014   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
White-breasted Waterhen eating bananas “Birds never fail to surprise me with their ingenuity and range of diet. The diet of the White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) is not well recorded locally but is large and varied. “I have observed them feeding on insects, earthworms, some molluscs, grass seeds, roots/shoots of some plants. “General foraging in ditches, drains, mud patches and shallow rivers is for worms but must also include small fish. “Today I was pleasantly surprised to see one hop... Read More

Von Schrenck’s Bittern confronts a mudskipper

24 Mar 2014   in Heron-Egret-Bittern, Interspecific, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Jeremiah Loei & YC Wee
Von Schrenck’s Bittern confronts a mudskipper The Von Schrenck’s Bittern (Ixobrychus eurhythmus) is an uncommon winter visitor to Singapore, arriving from October to December. Some birds that are passage migrants continue to fly south after refueling, to return around March. These join up with the winter visitors to fly back north to their breeding grounds in SE Siberia, Manchuria, China and Japan. The video above by Jeremiah Loei was recorded at the Pasir Ris mangrove at around 1830 hours when it was rather... Read More

Nesting behaviour of the Spotted Dove

23 Mar 2014   in Courtship-Mating, Nesting, Pigeon-Dove, Videography 4 Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Nesting behaviour of the Spotted Dove Courtship For the more than a few mornings in May 2013, a pair of Spotted Doves (Streptopelia chinensis) was heard duetting while hidden among a leafy branch of the Blue Mahang (Macaranga hyeni) tree that was covered with the scrambling Luffa plant (Luffa aegyptica) (above). The duetting started as early as 0730 hours and lasted from 5-10 minutes to as long as 40 minutes. When disturbed from their perches, they fly off to continue somewhere else. During evenings they were... Read More

Watercock – with prey

22 Mar 2014   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Watercock - with prey “The diet of the Watercock (Gallicrex cinerea) is poorly known locally, here with a freshwater mollusc (above, below). “The vegetation in the background, Kangkong (Ipomoea aquatica), is now a national infamous symbol.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 2nd February 2013 Location: Ulu Dedap, Perak, Malaysia Habitat: Extensive rice farming area, wetlands with nearby... Read More

BUTTERFLIES MATING BESIDE STREAM

21 Mar 2014   in Fauna No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Leong Tzi Ming & Gary Lim
BUTTERFLIES MATING BESIDE STREAM “On the hot afternoon of 23rd February 2014, relief from the heat was sought at the refreshing waterfalls of Sungei Kroh within FRIM (Forest Research Institute Malaysia; Kepong, Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia) (above). “While exploring the rocky banks of the stream, a pair of Tailed Disc Oakblues (Arhopala atosia, family Lycaenidae, subfamily Lycaeninae) was spotted (above). They had tumbled down, with abdomens attached, from overhanging vegetation and settled... Read More

How much do we know about our Eurasian Tree-sparrow?

20 Mar 2014   in Species No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
How much do we know about our Eurasian Tree-sparrow? On the occasion of the 2014 World Sparrow Day organised by the Nature Forever Society LINK, we take the opportunity to once again review our knowledge of the behaviour of the Eurasian Tree-sparrow (Passer montanus). This species, a common resident seen throughout Singapore (Wang & Hails, 2007), has always been considered not worthy of study by local birdwatchers LINK. They prefer to direct their attention on the rare species – see HERE. The most significant work can... Read More

Cattle Egret – rat prey

19 Mar 2014   in Feeding-vertebrates, Heron-Egret-Bittern 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Cattle Egret - rat prey “With the padi fields being cut or ploughed, egrets, herons, raptors, swifts, swallows and others had turned up in large numbers to feed on rodents or insects. I understand from the farmers that rats in the fields are poisoned and one farmer said this could account for the reduction of raptors they have noticed. I am uncertain of the nature of the poison and if it can affect the raptors and other birds feeding on the rats. “This particular Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis... Read More