• 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,...

Purple-throated Sunbird sipping Morinda elliptica flower nectar

23 Sep 2014   in Feeding-plants, Sunbirds No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Purple-throated Sunbird sipping Morinda elliptica flower nectar “Saw this Purple-throated Sunbird (Leptocoma sperata brasiliana) with a mate (no pictures, more shy) at close range but in full sun (have yet to take good pictures in glaring sunlight). “Extensive, close views of it feeding on the nectar of this small tree (top, above). I think it is the Morinda elliptica (Black Morinda or Mengkudu daun kecil) (below). “It did not pierce the base of the flower but obtained the nectar by direct insertion of beak into flower. “Very... Read More

Asian Glossy Starling: 1. Claiming roof space

22 Sep 2014   in Morphology-Develop., Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee & Wang Luan Keng
Asian Glossy Starling: 1. Claiming roof space The soft boards sealing the strip of roof projecting from my neighbour’s house fell off some months ago at two points. I expected either Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) or Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis) would claim these roof areas for nesting. But for weeks there was no sign of any of these birds entering the spaces. Then, in the afternoon of 11th June 2014 I happened to notice an adult Asian Glossy Starling flying right through that first gap. It... Read More

Pink-necked Green-pigeon Feeds Immature With Crop Milk and Fruit

21 Sep 2014   in Fledgling-Fledging, Pigeon-Dove, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Sun Chong Hong
“As I was walking in my condo at about 8.30 am on 10th September 2014, some movements high up in a Yellow Flame tree (Peltophorum pterocarpum) that has shed all its leaves attracted my attention. From the view finder of my camera, I could see that it was a pair of Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans) apparently engaging in courtship/mating behaviour. However, as it was a back view, I could not be sure of what they were actually doing – see video: “I was... Read More

House Swift mating in flight

20 Sep 2014   in Swifts-Swallows 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
House Swift mating in flight “I have always seen House Swift (Apus affinis subfurcatus) rushing through the air in the early morning as a group of 20-50, “screaming” away (a chorus of high pitched twittering). “I had assumed this was a feeding behaviour but while watching them yesterday it looked like males chasing females. Took some pictures as considered it a possible mating behaviour rather than feeding. Was surprised to actually be able to capture some mid-air mating events (top,... Read More

Bats in my Porch: 15. Is the roosting site also a salt lick?

19 Sep 2014   in Fauna, Videography 1 Comment »
Contributed by YC Wee
Bats in my Porch: 15. Is the roosting site also a salt lick? On the early morning of 22nd August 2014, a male Common Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) visited my porch to lick the wooden strips that line the roof (above). These strips of wood had been varnished about two decades ago and have yet to fade. However, the edges of some appear worn out. Can this be because of regular licks through the years? This male bat flew in, attached himself onto a wooden strip and immediately began vigorously licking the surface as he moved about.... Read More

Bagworm moth caterpillars

18 Sep 2014   in Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Lena Chow
Bagworm moth caterpillars “Bagworm moths (Psychidae) are found globally, with 1,350 species described. The name is derived from the habits of their larvae. Caterpillars of bagworm moths build small protective cases or bags out of silk and environmental materials such as sand, soil or plant materials. Each species makes a bag particular to its species. Here are 3 rather different ones that I’ve met locally. “The one at the top is pretending to be a pine cone while that on the... Read More

Asian Glossy Starling – hackle feathers

17 Sep 2014   in Morphology-Develop. 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Asian Glossy Starling – hackle feathers “I find that the more I watch the more to discover. Was enjoying two Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis) when noticed these pointed feathers at the neck, the hackles. “Wells (2007) says of them ‘feathering of head, to anterior edge of mantle and upper breast, hackle-pointed ..’ “Craig (2010, Starlings and Mynas) says ‘hackle feathers of the neck and throat…’” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 11th May 2014 Location: Canning Garden... Read More

Book Review: Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology since Darwin

16 Sep 2014   in Reports 2 Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Book Review: Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology since Darwin Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology since Darwin by Tim Birkhead, Jo Wimpenny & Bob Montgomerie (2014). Princeton University Press, Princeton & Oxford, i-xvii, 524 pp. ISBN 978-0-691-15197-7. The title of the book reflects the total number of birds we have in this world. Because of their numbers and visibility (we can always see, if not hear their calls), many of us become emotionally attached to birds. What else can be the reasons why birds had been observed and... Read More

© Insights To Blue-Winged Pitta Part 6

15 Sep 2014   in Nesting-failed No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O’Neill
© Insights To Blue-Winged Pitta Part 6 Nest Predation: “Observing courtship sharing on ground platter, female active role in ground nest excavation and inspection role of the male were new insights in getting to know more about breeding life of Blue-winged Pittas (Pitta moluccensis). “Inching into their private world had only been possible by a co-operative pair- Ticky and Tippy at Sungai Dua Forest Reserve (SDFR) Province Wellesley, Peninsular Malaysia. I would of course delight the opportunity one day to... Read More

Black-and-yellow Broadbill: male, female and juveniles

14 Sep 2014   in Feeding-invertebrates, Morphology-Develop. No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Black-and-yellow Broadbill: male, female and juveniles “I was driving on this road through this primary forest today when I heard the characteristic mews of this broadbill Black-and-yellow Broadbill (Eurylaimus ochromalus ochromalus) – above is a male, below is a female. “I pulled the car over to try and identify the bird’s location and spotted two adults with prey, possibly for juveniles. All were animal prey. Prey under-described in my region (Wells 2007). “I could not spot the nest but after some search... Read More