• 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,...

How much do we know about our Eurasian Tree-sparrow?

20 Mar 2014   in Species No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
How much do we know about our Eurasian Tree-sparrow? On the occasion of the 2014 World Sparrow Day organised by the Nature Forever Society LINK, we take the opportunity to once again review our knowledge of the behaviour of the Eurasian Tree-sparrow (Passer montanus). This species, a common resident seen throughout Singapore (Wang & Hails, 2007), has always been considered not worthy of study by local birdwatchers LINK. They prefer to direct their attention on the rare species – see HERE. The most significant work can... Read More

Cattle Egret – rat prey

19 Mar 2014   in Feeding-vertebrates, Heron-Egret-Bittern 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Cattle Egret - rat prey “With the padi fields being cut or ploughed, egrets, herons, raptors, swifts, swallows and others had turned up in large numbers to feed on rodents or insects. I understand from the farmers that rats in the fields are poisoned and one farmer said this could account for the reduction of raptors they have noticed. I am uncertain of the nature of the poison and if it can affect the raptors and other birds feeding on the rats. “This particular Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis... Read More

White-Throated Kingfishers and their prey

18 Mar 2014   in Feeding-vertebrates, Kingfishers No Comments »
Contributed by Connie Khoo Siew Yoong
White-Throated Kingfishers and their prey “I was rushing back home when I saw this breeding pair of White-throated Kingfishers (Halcyon smyrnensis) robbing a chick from the nest of a Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius). “The tailorbirds were making very loud noises and that caught my full attention. So I stopped my car and quickly got down to get my gear ready. But before I could get out from my car the kingfisher had already caught hold of one chick. I could hear the chick calling. Of course the... Read More

Long-tailed Shrike Casting A Pellet

17 Mar 2014   in Pellets, Videography 2 Comments »
Contributed by Kwong Wai Chong
Long-tailed Shrike Casting A Pellet “Sharing this video of a Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach) in the process of casting a pellet. It was made with a few still images that were taken in sequence. “It was an amazing experience and my pleasure to watch this confiding shrike from close. It took just 10 seconds from the time it started to gape slightly until the pellet was held briefly in its beak. The pellet was then dropped onto the ground below. “The pellet is made up of compacted... Read More

Asian Openbill – feeding technique

16 Mar 2014   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-invertebrates, Migration-Migrants 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Asian Openbill – feeding technique “Large numbers of migrants Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans) again this year (see last year’s visit HERE and HERE. “I saw in excess of 110 in a single flock. Managed to get close to watch the feeding behaviour, see the composite image (above). They are very adept at getting at the soft body of the freshwater Golden Apple Snail (Pomacea canaliculata) without damaging the shell. “I believe this was first described by Kahl M.P. 1971. Food and feeding behavior of... Read More

Second sighting of the Band-bellied Crake in Singapore

15 Mar 2014   in Migration-Migrants, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Jeremiah Loei, Subaraj Rajathurai, Lena Chow & Melinda Chan
Second sighting of the Band-bellied Crake in Singapore On 28th February 2014, a Band-bellied Crake (Porzana paykullii) was sighted at Singapore’s Chinese Garden. This rare winter visitor comes from the Russian Far East (its breeding grounds), NE China and Korea (Taylor, 1966). In winters it migrates to Southeast Asia – Central Thailand, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, North Sumatra, Java and North Borneo – now, Singapore. Jeremiah Loei’s two images above and Lena Chow’s video clip below show the second sighting of... Read More

Black Vulture feeding on Rainbow Trout in Costa Rica

14 Mar 2014   in Feeding-vertebrates, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
Black Vulture feeding on Rainbow Trout in Costa Rica “This Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) feeding on an dead Rainbow Trout was found at the lower level of the Valley of San Derado de Dota at the Savegre Lodge area in Costa Rica. This place has a number of fresh water ponds fed by fresh running water, that was breeding or farming Rainbow Trouts for the market or the lodges in the area. “The pond usually has one or two dead fish floating on the surface and when they drift close to the banks the vultures would... Read More

Rhynchokinesis in the Common Snipe

13 Mar 2014   in Morphology-Develop., Waders 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS & Hans Peeters
Rhynchokinesis in the Common Snipe “I am grateful to Hans Peeters for pointing out a feature I saw but had not recognised – Rhynchokinesis. When I posted a video of a Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) HERE (see second half of the video for the behaviour), Hans commented: ‘Amar, you didn’t point out the best part – that in your wonderful little video one can clearly see how the TIP of the maxilla (upper mandible) can be raised or flexed upward, independent of the rest of the bill. A... Read More

Snipe for Identification

12 Mar 2014   in Morphology-Develop., Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Snipe for Identification “We all know that field identification of snipe is not easy unless the tail is seen well in preening, especially for the Pintail and Swinhoe’s Snipes. The 3 migratory snipes to the Peninsula are the Pintail Snipe (Gallinago stenura), Swinhoe’s Snipe (Gallinago megala) and the Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago). There is a possibility that the Latham’s Snipe (Gallinago hardwickii) also transits the region. I recently posted some snipe on a local nature... Read More

Painted Stork at the Royal Selangor Golf Club

11 Mar 2014   in Species No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Jean Ho & Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Painted Stork at the Royal Selangor Golf Club The above image by Dr Jean Ho was taken recently at the Royal Selangor Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS who is based in the Malaysian state of Perak, most of the storks are the Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala), with at least two Milky Stork (Mycteria cinerea) in the group. These storks are seen “more often on poles, rooftops, etc in Klang Valley (even when I visit Kuals Lumpur),” noted Amar. “
Possibly from the Zoo or... Read More