• 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 Clouded Monitor and the Banded Bullfrog

05 Jul 2014   in Fauna, Videography, Vocalisation 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dr Leong Tzi Ming & Johnny Wee
The Clouded Monitor and the Banded Bullfrog Johnny Wee encountered a Clouded Monitor (Varanus nebulosus) in Singapore’s Venus Drive in May 2014 (above). Clamped tight in its mouth was a Banded Bullfrog (Kaloula pulchra). The bullfrog was countering the monitor’s attempt at swallowing it by inflating its body. For 15 minutes the monitor tried its utmost to swallow its prey but failed. It eventually gave up and the bullfrog went free. Banded Bullfrogs are not native to Singapore. Commonly sold in pet shops, they... Read More

Little Spiderhunter – nectar feeding and calls

04 Jul 2014   in Feeding-plants, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Little Spiderhunter – nectar feeding and calls “The Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra cinireicollis) is still possible to find in selected green lung pockets in the city. Its diet is insect prey (spiders) and nectar. The nectar is taken from flowers of the wild gingers, wild bananas and the Coral tree (Erythrina sp.). The range of flowers fed on is much larger than currently known or documented. They included Passiflora (Passion fruit), Heliconia, Ixora, Powder puff, etc. “Spotted an adult feeding on... Read More

Bats Roosting in my porch: 2. Looking for a solution

03 Jul 2014   in Fauna 6 Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Bats Roosting in my porch: 2. Looking for a solution I had enjoyed the presence of small family of Common Fruit Bats (Cynopterus brachyotis) that roosted under the roof of my porch LINK (above left). As the novelty wore off, their presence became a nuisance. They dirtied the floor below with their excrements and discarded food. The excrements needed to be scrubbed off within the same day, least they become permanent stains (above right). So the next step was to get the bats to roost elsewhere – in the many trees... Read More

Common Flameback confrontations

02 Jul 2014   in Interspecific, Intraspecific 6 Comments »
Contributed by Jasper Lim
Common Flameback confrontations “I was tracking a pair of Common Flamebacks (Dinopium javanense) this morning (26th June 2014) and was fortunate enough to observe three episodes of their behaviour; one of which was interspecies and the other two within the species. (Image above shows the pair, photographed some time ago in the same locality.) Interspecies Aggression: “The female was foraging when she encountered a plantain squirrel (Callosciurus notatus). A standoff ensued. It was unclear if... Read More

Oriental Pratincole nesting

01 Jul 2014   in Nesting, Vocalisation 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Oriental Pratincole nesting Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS visited the Malim Nawar Wetlands in South-West Perak, Malaysia on 28th February 2014. This is an extensive ex-tin mining area with many ponds/lakes that have converted to fish farming. There was a flock of at least 35 Oriental Pratincole (Glareola maldivarum) using a freshly cleared land to breed. The image at the top shows an adult incubating the eggs. The nest is a scrape surrounded by a collection of loose vegetable matter with two eggs in it... Read More

Zebra Ducks foraging for food by vortexing

30 Jun 2014   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-invertebrates, Videography 2 Comments »
Contributed by Teo Lee Wei & K
Zebra Ducks foraging for food by vortexing “The photo above shows a few Zebra Ducks or pink eared ducks (Malachorhynchus membranaceus) with a pied stilt (Himantopus himantopus). The pink ear is clearly visible in a few of the ducks. “The video above shows a pair of zebra ducks concentrating plankton by creating a water vortex. The typical head to tail position can be seen here. “The square tip of the spatula shaped bill is also clearly visible. The ducks take in plankton-rich water through the... Read More

GREATER YELLOWNAPE FEEDING

29 Jun 2014   in Feeding-invertebrates, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Leong Tzi Ming
GREATER YELLOWNAPE FEEDING “On the evening of 11th May 2014, a Greater Yellownape (Chrysophlegma flavinucha) had parked itself at the entrance of a narrow treehole at Fraser’s Hill, Peninsular Malaysia (above). “With a steady perch, it began to chisel away at what appeared to be an ant’s nest from a distance. For at least five minutes, it repeatedly chipped away at the nest and the adjacent bark. Such an intrusion must have sent the ants scampering about frantically, with quite a... Read More

Pied Triller nesting

28 Jun 2014   in Feeding chicks, Nesting, Waste 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Pied Triller nesting “Spotted a Pied Triller (Lalage nigra) nest with two chicks, the usual brood number (above). I was watching another bird and was already close to the nest (4-5 meters) before I spotted it. “Decided to just stay still and the parents accepted my presence. They both brought insects prey frequently to feed the nestlings. Above image shows the male with a grasshopper, below the female with a caterpillar for the chicks. At times the chicks were unable to handle a large... Read More

Bats roosting in my porch: 1. Introduction

27 Jun 2014   in Fauna No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee & Benjamin Lee
Bats roosting in my porch: 1. Introduction I have had the Common Fruit Bat, also known as the Lesser Dog-faced Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis), roosting under the roof of my porch since 2006 (above). For years I was thrilled by their presence. This small group of bats would hang from the strips of dark brown wood that make up the porch roof, sometimes swinging about ever so gently as they go about their comfort activities. I was oblivious to the mess they left on the floor – traces of guano and discarded food.... Read More

Young White-bellied Sea-eagle strangled by fishing net

26 Jun 2014   in Illegal-Irresponsible 3 Comments »
Contributed by Natalie Huang, Syafiqah Omar & Simon Cherriman
Young White-bellied Sea-eagle strangled by fishing net A Singapore filming company was at Pasir Ris Drive 3 on 24th June 2014 to film an active nest of the White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) found in an albizia tree (Paraserianthes falcataria) (above). This segment on the sea-eagle is to be part of a wildlife documentary for Channel News Asia. In the nest were two adults and one juvenile that looked to be about 10 weeks old. This was according to Simon Cherriman, the visiting eagle biologist. And on the ground... Read More