• 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,...

The day a fruit fell from above…

06 Nov 2014   in Fauna, Plants No Comments »
Contributed by Rosemary Chng, Dr Leong Tzi Ming & YC Wee
The day a fruit fell from above… One evening at around 19:30 hours, Rosemary Chng was standing outside the gate of her house under a Trumpet tree (Tabebuia sp.). Suddenly she gave a yell when something landed on her head. Her boys were amused as they thought she was ‘delusional’. By then Rosemary was nursing a small ‘buah duku’ on her head. Buah duku is Malay for the Duku (Lansium domesticum), a local fruit that comes in bunches of small round fruits. People usually refer to bumps on the head as... Read More


05 Nov 2014   in Comfort behaviour 2 Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O'Neill
© INSIGHTS TO AVIAN BATHERS “From early sightings and articles of the ubiquitous Lineated Barbet (Megalaima lineata) in ‘A Japy-Romano’s Avian Bath’ LINK to uncommon sightings of ‘Communal Baths by Golden Babblers’ LINK, there had been many more feather maintenances’ situations observed, as I took thereafter to roads less travelled; doing it solo to various regions in South East Asia, behind the Wallacea Line to Down Under regions to look and observe what birds did. “From the many... Read More

Brown-throated Sunbird feeding Dillenia suffruticosa seeds

04 Nov 2014   in Feeding-plants, Sunbirds No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Brown-throated Sunbird  feeding Dillenia suffruticosa seeds “Spotted a female Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis malacensis) feeding on the fruit of the Simpoh Air (Dillenia suffruticosa). “Numerous feeding episodes were observed. This is a common shrub of disturbed open forest with large yellow flowers. Ivan Polunin, Plants and Flowers of Malaysia 1988, says ‘The red fruits open before dawn into several segments, exposing the red-fleshed seemingly tasteless seeds which are so attractive to birds that they are... Read More

Bats in my porch: 19. Does the male help look after the pup?

03 Nov 2014   in Fauna No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee, Dr Christine Fletcher & Dr Vilma D'Rozario
Bats in my porch: 19. Does the male help look after the pup?	“On this particular evening, the roost was occupied by less than half a dozen Common Fruit Bats (Cynopterus brachyotis). The key players were the alpha male, two adults with one suckling a pup and a few others (see video above). “The alpha male was actively courting the adult suckling a pup, extending his wings and flapping them. After some time another adult moved towards the pair but not in a confrontational way. The alpha male slowly moved off. ... Read More


02 Nov 2014   in Fauna No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Leong Tzi Ming
SAPPHIRE FLUTTERER MATING “In September 2014, I became increasingly distracted and dazzled by the shimmering beauty of the Sapphire Flutterer (Rhyothemis triangularis, family Libellulidae) during my frequent visits to local pond sites. Whenever these dragonflies perch, their metallic blue wing patterns would sparkle and shimmer in the sun (above). “Video clips of these dragonflies adopting various postures and flaunting their beauty may be previewed below: “On the 20th September 2014, I was... Read More

Atypical nesting of the Zebra Dove

01 Nov 2014   in Nesting, Pigeon-Dove 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Atypical nesting of the Zebra Dove “I have seen Zebra Doves (Geopelia striata) nest in odd sites but never before in limestone hill openings. “Note that these are images and observations from a distance with no closer access but there is no doubt about the nesting behaviour. “I spotted an adult flying into a small hole in a large limestone stalactite. The hole is located 40-50 meters up a limestone outcropping (above). I saw three visits by the adult bringing nesting material with another adult within... Read More


31 Oct 2014   in Fauna No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
FLYING DRAGONS – FLASHING FEMALES “Most of us would be familiar with the diurnal displays of male Flying Dragons (Draco sumatranus) whenever they flash their yellow gular flaps from beneath their throats. However, we are probably less familiar with the displays by females of the same species, as they are infrequently observed or reported. “On the 28th September 2014, I had my eyes fixed on a particular female, as she was feasting on ants upon a tree. As she was doing so, she would flash her bluish gular... Read More

Kopi Luwak (civet coffee) anyone?

30 Oct 2014   in Fauna 10 Comments »
Contributed by Xu Weiting, Fung Tze Kwan, Pearlynn Sim & YC Wee
Kopi Luwak (civet coffee) anyone? The Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) is believed to seek out and eat the fruits of the Arabica Coffee (Coffea Arabica) at their optimum ripeness (above: flowers; below: fruits with Common Palm Civet insert). As these fruits, often termed cherry, pass through the civet’s digestive tract, the soft outer flesh is absorbed by the civet and the hard seeds passed out from the other end. The scat or poop, as it is commonly known, is easily recognised and eagerly... Read More

Crested Partridge – social behaviour

29 Oct 2014   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Crested Partridge – social behaviour  “I met 7-8 Crested Partridges (Rollulus rouloul) today. I had walked in 2 km on a less used trail along primary jungle. I was watching some migratory flycatchers feed on fruit for quite some time and when I turned around, about 1.5-2 meters behind me, were 7-8 of these delightful partridges. There were 2 males, at least one immature and the rest appeared to be females or immature. “They were located behind a screen of foliage and ran about fast chuckling like hens.... Read More

Pink-necked Green-pigeon failed nesting

28 Oct 2014   in Nesting-failed 2 Comments »
Contributed by Sun Chong Hong
Pink-necked Green-pigeon failed nesting “There is a row of 8 pine trees planted in my condo 30 years ago when it was built (above). According to an arborist who visited us a few years back, this is a slow growing pine, the name of which I cannot remember. The tallest one is only about 3 – 4m height. There is no cone. When examined carefully, the needles can be found bundled mostly in fascicles of 2, and sometimes of 3. I have never seen any bird visiting the trees. “In the evening of 22 Jul... Read More