• 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,...

Stages in the moulting of the Short-horned Grasshopper

29 Nov 2014   in Fauna No Comments »
Contributed by Lena Chow, YC Wee & Dr Leong Tzi Ming
Stages in the moulting of the Short-horned Grasshopper At 40-70 mm long the Short-horned Grasshopper (Valanga nigricornis) is the largest grasshopper seen in Singapore. The early nymph stages are much smaller and wingless. This final moult was documented by Lena Chow two years ago. The grasshopper hung on to a branch of the Portulacaria afra just before the moult (top). As the old skin split open along the back, the grasshopper slipped out, assisted by gravity (above). The wings, yet to be expanded can be seen behind the... Read More

Little Spiderhunter feeding nectar from Allamanda flowers

28 Nov 2014   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Little Spiderhunter feeding nectar from Allamanda flowers “Often bird watching is a mixture of knowledge of the bird’s habitat and behaviour, chance and environmental conditions. Went back to the fringe of the forest reserve where I had seen spiderhunters enter gardens homes to feed on nectar. This is about 500m from primary jungle. It had rained the day before and last night, so the birds were hungry. “A number of Spiderhunters were present for an hour feeding on almost every flowering plant and offered great... Read More

Book Review: Birds of New Guinea

27 Nov 2014   in Reports 1 Comment »
Contributed by Morten Strange
Book Review: Birds of New Guinea Birds of New Guinea by Thane K. Pratt & Bruce M. Beehler Princeton University Press, 2014. Second Edition. “What a pleasure it is to review this amazing book covering an amazing place. The first edition came out in 1986, and it was always essential for birdwatchers in this remote region. Brian Coates, Clifford Frith and other experts have published on New Guinea avifauna, but this was the only modern field guide, and a good one at that. It was a shame when it went... Read More

STRAW-HEADED BULBULS FORAGING

26 Nov 2014   in Feeding strategy, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
STRAW-HEADED BULBULS FORAGING “On the afternoon of 22nd September 2014, a small family of Straw-headed Bulbuls (Pycnonotus zeylanicus) arrived onto the scene as I was strolling along forest edge. They appeared to be in visual search mode and were intently scanning the surrounding vegetation, with hunger in their eyes (above, below). “It seemed like they were on the lookout for insects that may be hiding amongst the leaves and vines. There also seemed to be some loose association with... Read More

Grey-breasted Spiderhunter – nectar feeding

25 Nov 2014   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Grey-breasted Spiderhunter – nectar feeding “A dismal day with much drizzle and dark clouds but this Grey-breasted Spiderhunter (Arachnothera modesta modesta) made up for it. Met it at the fringe of the forest reserve where it had entered the gardens of some homes to feed on nectar. “The above image was surprise – feeding on Clerodendrum thomsoniae (Bleeding-Heart Vine) nectar. “The spiderhunter also fed on the nectar of Musa ’1000 Fingers’ (a very, very long banana fruiting stem that has 1,000s... Read More

Pollination of Citrus x microcarpa flowers

24 Nov 2014   in Fauna, Plants, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Pollination of Citrus x microcarpa flowers Citrus x microcarpa is a natural hybrid, commonly known as Calamansi or Calamondin – or limau kesturi in Malay. The plant is grown for its small, round fruits whose juice is used in local cuisine or to make a sour drink. The flowers are white and fragrant. Pollination of the flowers is by Stingless Bees (Trigona sp., family Apidae) and ants. The image above shows the anthers (pollen sacs) of the flower less the other parts. Note that the anthers have yet to pop and... Read More

WHITE-CRESTED LAUGHINGTHRUSH TACKLES HAIRY CATERPILLAR

23 Nov 2014   in Feeding-invertebrates, Videography 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
WHITE-CRESTED LAUGHINGTHRUSH TACKLES HAIRY CATERPILLAR “On the 22nd September 2014, I was observing a small group of White-crested Laughingthrushes (Garrulax leucolophus) foraging at a local park when a particular individual caught my eye. It had just found a feisty moth caterpillar which was covered in irritant hairs and stinging spines. My curiosity was aroused and I wondered how this bird would surmount the walls of self defense put up by the wriggly and spiky caterpillar. “Firstly, the laughingthrush used the tip of its... Read More

Rusty-rumped Warbler – call

22 Nov 2014   in Morphology-Develop., Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Rusty-rumped Warbler - call “Went out looking for migratory Reed Warblers this morning; heard 3 but only saw one. I was surprised that it was the Locustella Warbler (Locustella certhiola) the hardest for me to spot. It is said to be more active in the evening but, in the past and at this visit, it can be spotted in the undergrowth in the mornings preening or foraging (above). “The above nicely shows the horn black or ivory upper mandible. “There a number of calls but the one I managed to record... Read More

Bats in my porch: 22. Mating again

21 Nov 2014   in Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Bats in my porch: 22. Mating again On 4th October 2014, there was, as always, a dominant male Common Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) hanging in the porch (above). As usual, he was the first to be there, well before 19:00 hours. His presence attracted a few females and juveniles. The colony of about eight bats will only by there when both the spotlights are switched on. During this period, the bats would hang from the wooden strips. A few would fly out to return later. Other bats would fly in, some trying... Read More

Reticulated or Singapore Swamp Crab

20 Nov 2014   in Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Lena Chow
Reticulated or Singapore Swamp Crab “One of three critically endangered crabs that are uniquely Singaporean, the Reticulated or Singapore Swamp Crab (Parathelphusa reticulata), is so named for the beautiful reticulate or mesh-like patterning on its carapace (below). “Discovered and named by Prof Peter Ng of the National University of Singapore in 1990, a gripping account of its discovery is found here LINK and reproduced as follows : “Ng’s ‘all time favourite’ discovery came in 1990. In 1988... Read More