• 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,...

Olive-backed Sunbird collecting fruits of Porophyllum ruderale (F: Asteraceae)

08 May 2015   in Nesting, Plants No Comments »
Contributed by Thong Chow Ngian, Paul KF Leong & Chew Ping Ting
Olive-backed Sunbird collecting fruits of Porophyllum ruderale (F: Asteraceae) On 18th April 2015 Thong Chow Ngian photographed a female Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis) harvesting nesting material at Ponggol Barat grassland. The sunbird was working its way from the top to the bottom of the approximately half a metre tall shrub (above). With its bill full of dried fruits (above, below), it flew off to its secret nesting site. The sunbird returned to the same shrub several times to gather more dried fruits. It was so engrossed with the... Read More

A tale of two Changeable Lizards

07 May 2015   in Fauna, Reptiles No Comments »
Contributed by Tanvi Dutta Gupta
A tale of two Changeable Lizards “I visited Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve yesterday and in the car park observed a Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor). I was photographing it when all of a sudden it pounced on something in the leaf litter I had not observed previously. “It was total chaos for a few seconds and I realised it was another lizard it had ‘attacked’; they thrashed together, the lizard I had seen first on top, and after a while they dis-attached. “The two lizards sat facing... Read More

Barred Buttonquail – female “bluffing behaviour”

06 May 2015   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Barred Buttonquail – female “bluffing behaviour” “I accidently surprised this female Barred Buttonquail (Turnix suscitator atrogularis). She responded by turning, looking straight at me with a piercing look, fluffing up the plumage as well as bowing down repeatedly, lifting up the back. This went on for about 30-40 seconds. Although I was near the bird, I was imaging her through some undergrowth so videos were difficult. “The last time I posted this behaviour Hans Peeters was kind enough to comment:... Read More

Red-whiskered Bulbul: 2. Incubation

05 May 2015   in Nesting, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Red-whiskered Bulbul: 2. Incubation After completing the nest LINK, the pair of Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) was absent for a few days from the Belimbing (Averrhoa carambola) nesting tree. Then one day the female returned, stayed for some time and laid an egg. Unlike the period when the pair was building their nest when the air was filled with their loud songs, the early incubation period was a much quieter affair. But I did capture a more discreet series of five different songs alerting the... Read More

VARIEGATED GREEN SKIMMER MATING

04 May 2015   in Dragonflies-Damselflies, Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
VARIEGATED GREEN SKIMMER MATING “In November 2014, I was presented with a few opportunities to observe the mating behaviour of Variegated Green Skimmer (Orthetrum sabina) dragonflies while checking out local pond sites. When the male and female have connected with each other in the wheel position, they will perch for relatively long periods in a variety of places. These may include: - a bare branch (above): - a blade of grass (above): - a sun-baked rock (above): - even a stone park bench (above,... Read More

Banded Bay Cuckoo – conflict with Common Iora

03 May 2015   in Interspecific, Vocalisation 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Banded Bay Cuckoo – conflict with Common Iora “I was engrossed, watching the Baya Weavers nectar feeding, when abruptly a Banded Bay Cuckoo (Cacomantis sonneratii sonneratii) flew into the tree overhead (above, below). In retrospect I realised it was following a pair of Common Ioras (Aegithina tiphia) that had been making their way past me. “It was just a few meters overhead but fearless of me, so intent was it on finding the Iora’s nest. I observed it searching all the branches in the tree I was under and it... Read More

Fruiting of the MacArthur Palm

02 May 2015   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-plants, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Fruiting of the MacArthur Palm My MacArthur Palm (Ptycospermun macarthuri) fruited in late February to early March 2015. And every evening a number of Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis) came to feed on the ripe fruits. The starlings were joined by a few Yellow-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus goiavier) and Javan Mynas (Acridotheres javanicus). The starlings seem to coexist with the bulbuls and mynas as there were no fights. This could be because there were enough fruits for all. One interesting... Read More

Tips on how to look after young bats

01 May 2015   in Bats, Fauna No Comments »
Contributed by Andrew Tay & Dr Vilma D'Rozario
Following our early post on the juvenile Common Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) that fell from its roost and our appeal for information of how to care for it LINK, Dr Vilma D’Rozario of Cicada Tree Eco-place LINK wrote that “…it is very tough to care for a young bat without its mum. But mum couldn’t have picked it up either [if the young is left on the ground],” Vilma put us in contact with Andrew Tay who responded with the following: “…Looking at its size... Read More

Rufous-browed Flycatcher – nesting

30 Apr 2015   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Rufous-browed Flycatcher - nesting “I was on this trail when I spotted a Rufous-browed Flycatcher (Ficedula solitaris malayana) carrying prey (above). So I withdrew some distance to see if I could observe nesting. I managed to identify the nest after two visits by the bird. I then imaged the nest from some distance and left. “Prey for this species is not well documented (Wells 2007). I saw it bring both a caterpillar and a flying insect in the same mouthful (top) and later a red spider (above). “The... Read More

Eclosion of the Painted Jezebel

29 Apr 2015   in Butterflies and Moths, Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Eclosion of the Painted Jezebel Of the eight or more caterpillars of the Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete metarete) feeding on the leaves of the Malayan Mistletoe (Dendrophthoe pentandra), I managed to retrieve only one pupa. As is usual with these caterpillars, they move in different direction to pupate. This is a strategy of not “putting all the eggs in one basket” to ensure at least one or a few survive the pupal stage LINK. This pupa was monitored seven days later in an effort to catch the... Read More