• 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,...

Birding in Taiwan: 1. Taiwan Scimitar-babbler

28 Dec 2014   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Birding in Taiwan: 1. Taiwan Scimitar-babbler  “My wife and I just returned from a visit to Taiwan to enjoy nature there. Half the time was spent cycling or walking and the other part of the trip bird watching. We were very pleased to have Richard Foster take us around and share his experience of the local birds. My intention was to try and get to know some of the birds found there, endemic or otherwise. As a field guide I mainly used Mark Brazil’s Birds of East Asia: China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and Russia... Read More

Cave Nectar Bats taking nectar from banana flowers

27 Dec 2014   in Fauna 2 Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee & Dr Leong Tzi Ming
Cave Nectar Bats taking nectar from banana flowers The Common Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis), as mentioned earlier, takes fruits and nectar from various species of plants. The Banana Plant (Musa cultivar) is targeted for the nectar and pollen LINK. In mid-December 2014 when two of my banana plants were flowering, I attempted to photograph the bats visiting the flowers. Without infrared facilities, it was a problem, as the bats appear only after dark. It so happened that the plants in my backyard were growing by a... Read More

HORNBILLS MOVE INTO SUBURBAN SINGAPORE

26 Dec 2014   in Hornbills No Comments »
Contributed by Lee Chiu San
HORNBILLS MOVE INTO SUBURBAN SINGAPORE “Earlier this month, Ch’ng Eng Hock and his family posted a beautiful set of photos of the group of Oriental Pied Hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris) that visited their condominium at The Sterling LINK. There were queries from other visitors to this website as to whether or not Hornbills would become established in the Bukit Timah, Bukit Batok and Clementi area. “I asserted quite emphatically that they would. “I am now able to share the reasons for my... Read More

Greater Coucal mating

25 Dec 2014   in Courtship-Mating 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Greater Coucal mating “I had arrived early to try and spot a migrant and just as I stopped the car saw a pair of Greater Coucals (Centropus sinensis bubutus) engaging in mating. No time to get near or organise for a video, just tried my luck with distant images (above, below). “Took a number of sequential images in a burst and put them together for a video, see below. “At one point the female tuned back to the male. I thought it might be a feeding episode as part of the mating but did... Read More

New Zealand Pigeon (kereru)

24 Dec 2014   in Feeding-plants, Pigeon-Dove, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Teo Lee Wei, K & Johnny Wee
New Zealand Pigeon (kereru) “The New Zealand Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) is a rather large bird, ~ 50 cm long, often sighted sitting quietly on tree branches. Its distinctive white underparts enable the birdwatchers on the ground to spot it easily (above, image by Johnny Wee). “This endemic bird is frugivorous and feeds on leaves and flower petals as well. “This bird was seen feeding on yellow flower petals at Zeelandia, Wellington. The wonderful, clear commentaries were made by the... Read More

Crimson Sunbird – juveniles assuming adult male plumage

23 Dec 2014   in Morphology-Develop., Sunbirds No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Crimson Sunbird – juveniles assuming adult male plumage “A presumed family group of Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja trangensis-siparaja) was feeding on the nectar of these Hibiscus flowers. Two juveniles assuming adult male plumage, one adult male and an adult female. “I focused on the juveniles assuming adult male plumage. Much of the adult metallic plumage development in the throat and breast.Below is a limited image but shows that the metallic violet of the tail develops fairly early. Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh... Read More

Myna strangled by fishing line at Lower Peirce

22 Dec 2014   in Illegal-Irresponsible No Comments »
Contributed by Derek Liew
Myna strangled by fishing line at Lower Peirce “I was taking a walk at Lower Peirce this morning when I encountered a myna strangled by a fishing line hanging on a Birdnest Fern (Asplenium nidus) growing on the branch of a Rain Tree (Samanea saman) at the car park. “The myna was removed by a long pruner and we found there was a fishing line tied around it’s neck. “I sent the photos to Ria Tan and she advised me to send it to you.” Derek Liew Singapore 17th December 2014 NOTE: This is not the first and will... Read More

BANDED SKIMMER OVIPOSITING

21 Dec 2014   in Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
BANDED SKIMMER OVIPOSITING “The male Banded Skimmer (Pseudothemis jorina, Libellulidae) is a dashing dragonfly which is predominantly black all over, with a contrasting white ‘waistband’ on its abdomen (above). “If you come face to face with this dragonfly, its prominent white ‘nose’ and ‘lips’ are most adorable (above). “It is not often that we find males perched, as they have a habit of constantly cruising over long stretches along the banks of large ponds. Their constant... Read More

Plaintive Cuckoo: 2. Possible courtship behaviour

20 Dec 2014   in Courtship-Mating, Intraspecific No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS, Connie Khoo & Dr David Wells
Please refer to Part 1 at this LINK. “Based on comments received, Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS wrote: ”Both sexes have loud advertising calls; the breeding season is not accurately documented and even now is in ‘full’ bloom; and the location I saw them at was overhanging a pool and backed by a wall, thus no food access in the immediate area. “After reading Connie’s opinion and talking to her about past observations, I think there are possibly two... Read More

Plaintive Cuckoo: 1. Possible courtship behaviour

19 Dec 2014   in Intraspecific No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Plaintive Cuckoo: 1. Possible courtship behaviour “I heard two Plaintive Cuckoos (Cacomantis merulinus threnodies) calling today in what appeared to be a responsive manner. I thought this was the ‘usual’ territorial behaviour. I found one of the birds on a bush over-hanging an ex-mining pool and was surprised to find the other seated very close by (below). Due to terrain limitations, I could not approach any further but tried to observe from where I was, as social behaviour in these cuckoos is not well... Read More