• 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,...

DARK BRAND BUSH BROWN MATING

08 Jan 2015   in Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
DARK BRAND BUSH BROWN MATING “The Dark Brand Bush Brown (Mycalesis mineus macromalayana, family Nymphalidae, subfamily Satyrinae) is a commonly encountered greyish-brown butterfly in Singapore and may be found from urban parks to forested areas (Khew, 2010). On the afternoon of 15th October 2014, I chanced upon a mating pair along forest edge (above). “With abdomens intimately engaged, they were seemingly performing a delicate ‘dance’, with a Simpoh Ayer leaf as their ‘stage’, and... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 4. Spotted Nutcracker

07 Jan 2015   in Miscellaneous, Videography, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Birding in Taiwan: 4. Spotted Nutcracker “The Spotted Nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes owstoni) is not as common a bird but very conspicuous at higher altitudes. Was snowing when we saw it at ~ 2500 meters ASL. Will perch high on coniferous tree, looking like a large crow (above). “Said to be ‘silent outside breeding season, but quite vocal from late winter onwards …’ (Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive), but we found it quite vocal in late December. I did not hear the whistles or mimicry... Read More

Violet Cuckoo feasting on caterpillars

06 Jan 2015   in Feeding-invertebrates, Videography 2 Comments »
Contributed by Jeremiah Loei, Melinda Chan, Chan Yoke Meng & Khew Sin Khoon
Violet Cuckoo feasting on caterpillars Jeremiah Looei’s two videos show the Violet Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus) feasting on caterpillars. Insects are its favourite food, especially caterpillars. The hairy ones are carefully prepared by swiping on the branch before swallowing LINK 1 and LINK 2. According to Khew Sin Khoon of Butterfly Circle LINK, the caterpillars are most probably those of a moth. “The urticaceous hairs and the smaller caterpillar heads also strongly suggest that these are moth... Read More

FREE-LIVING WILD BIRDS BREEDING IN YOUR HOME

05 Jan 2015   in Miscellaneous, Pigeon-Dove No Comments »
Contributed by Lee Chiu San
FREE-LIVING WILD BIRDS BREEDING IN YOUR HOME “With reference to the comment by Barkha on 26th December that he hopes Spotted Doves (Streptopelia chinensis) will again nest on his balcony LINK, my opinion is that if you want birds to stay around your premises and perhaps raise a family, you should feed them. “Most birds are territorial, but when food is plentiful, many bird territories are actually quite small, perhaps no larger than a suburban garden. “Therefore, to ensure a dense population of birds... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 3. Collared Bush-robin

04 Jan 2015   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Birding in Taiwan: 3. Collared Bush-robin “We all have birds that become our ’favourites’, and I have many, but I am partial to robins and thrushes. I was looking forwards to meet this wonderful bush-robin and had a number of opportunities over three days at the Dasyueshan National Forest. It is also known as the Johnstone’s Robin, the Taiwan Bush-robin (Tarsiger johnstoniae), and due to common presence at ‘Mount Ali’, the Alishan Robin. The Avifauna of Taiwan, 2nd edition states that the “habitat... Read More

North Island Kokako feeding on leaves

03 Jan 2015   in Feeding-plants, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Teo Lee Wei & K
North Island Kokako feeding on leaves The North Island Kokato (Callaeas wilsoni) is of ancient lineage with very few surviving close relatives (above). Its closest cousin is the saddleback (Philesturnus spp.). “The video clip below was taken on Tiritiri Matangi Island, New Zealand. The island has been kept free of pests like rats, stoats and possums so that endemic bird species, which are mostly poor flyers, have a chance to re-establish their numbers. “The tagged bird was seen on a branch at almost eye... Read More

Drongo Cuckoo

02 Jan 2015   in Morphology-Develop. 2 Comments »
Contributed by Kwong Wai Chong
Drongo Cuckoo “The *Drongo Cuckoo (Surniculus lugubris) aka Square-tailed Drongo-cuckoo, is an uncommon resident as well as passage migrant in Singapore. “This cuckoo has an overall black glossy plumage. Although dark, the plumage reflects light and this makes it appear glaring at times when the sun shines on it. “Depending on the angle of view, the plumage may appear with a blueish, greenish or even brownish sheen (above). Contrasting with its black plumage, white barred... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 2. Black-necklaced Scimitar-babbler

01 Jan 2015   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Birding in Taiwan: 2. Black-necklaced Scimitar-babbler “The only other scimitar-babbler in Taiwan is also an endemic bird. Not uncommon but more often heard then seen well. We were fortunate that Richard Foster spotted one in the early morning, calling out responsively and it was located in some under growth that was just below us. In my excitement, I zoomed right in and images were a little less sharp due to the lighting. “This is the bigger Black-laced Scimitar-babbler (Pomatorhinus erythrocnemis) with a longer... Read More

BESG 2014: The year in review

31 Dec 2014   in Reports 3 Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
BESG 2014: The year in review BESG had a satisfying year with the continued support from nature enthusiasts (that included birders) such that were able to make a posting a day, sometimes even twice a day. This was in spite of being in business for a decade LINK. One would expect that after 10 years of posting more than 3,200 items of bird behaviour, there would be not much else new to post – or even discover. Yet discover we did, and new ones at that – thanks to avid birders and... Read More

Paradise Tree Snake

30 Dec 2014   in Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Lena Chow
Paradise Tree Snake “The Paradise Tree Snake (Chrysopelea paradisi) is a beautiful snake, commonly encountered in our nature areas. This snake has caught the world’s attention for its ‘flying’ ability, which has been featured and explained in several documentaries like this one LINK. “I managed to meet and video this species on several occasions. Here’s one which has just caught a Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor), and tightening its coils around its... Read More