• 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,...

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

The elusive Greater Painted-snipe

25 Jun 2014   in Morphology-Develop. 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
The elusive Greater Painted-snipe “Like most migratory snipe, these resident Greater Painted-snipe (Rostratula benghalensis) rely on camouflage and stillness to avoid detection (above, below). “But once spotted they can be approached quite close. “There were three pairs at this location, foraging in shallow waters or muddy fields. [Images above and below show female in flight.] Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 29th April 2014 Location: Tambun Interior, Perak, Malaysia Habitat: Fish... Read More

BESG gets S$200,000 from a local donor…

24 Jun 2014   in Reports 19 Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
BESG gets S$200,000 from a local donor… Anyone who caught the above news in yesterday’s Straits Times would be aware that an anonymous donor has generously donated S$200,000 to the Bird Ecology Study Group. The donor, once an avid birdwatcher, strongly believes that simply looking at birds cannot sustain a person’s interest for the long term. There is a need to inject a little science into this outdoor recreation. And this is where studying bird behaviour comes into the picture. It then makes birdwatching... Read More

Courtship dance of the Musk Duck

23 Jun 2014   in Courtship-Mating, Videography 1 Comment »
Contributed by Teo Lee Wei, K & Dr Eric Tan
Courtship dance of the Musk Duck “Musk Duck (Bizura lobata) is the only living member of its genus. It possesses stiff-tailed duck (Oxyura sp.) characteristics and is easily identified by its body floating very low in the water. The ducks are huge in size, ~50cm to 73 cm. The legs are set far back on the body for swimming. “Males and females look alike except for the conspicuous lobe of skin under the bill of a breeding drake. The males emit a musk odour and the lobe of skin under the bill increases... Read More