• 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,...

Bats in my porch: 18. Adult females and their pups

16 Oct 2014   in Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Bats in my porch: 18. Adult females and their pups It was a normal evening in the colony of Common Fruit Bats (Cynopterus brachyotis) roosting in the porch. The alpha male was doing his usual rounds checking on his females. There were two females, each suckling a pup, hanging some distance from each other. One female was making jerking movements with her limbs as if to dislodge the pup from her nipple. After much jerking she managed to free herself and flew off (above and video). The pup was left hanging alone (above).... Read More

Tiger Shrike’s feeding behaviour

15 Oct 2014   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-vertebrates 6 Comments »
Contributed by Kwong Wai Chong
Tiger Shrike's feeding behaviour “From Wikipedia, the Tiger Shrike (Lanius tigrinus), also known as Thick-billed Shrike, is a small passerine bird which belongs to the genus Lanius in the shrike family, Laniidae. As Lanius is derived from the Latin word for butcher, shrikes are also known as ‘butcher birds’. A recent visit to Bidadari LINK offers some insight into the feeding behaviour of a Tiger Shrike and how shrikes got known as ‘butcher birds’. “I first saw this Tiger Shrike perching on a... Read More

White-throated Kingfisher – trapped

14 Oct 2014   in Kingfishers, Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
White-throated Kingfisher - trapped “We were out cycling and we came across this White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) trapped by barbed wire near our home. Two quick images and then we attempted to rescue it. Our close presence was sufficient to motivate the bird to break free and join its mate that was waiting nearby. They were nesting. Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 30th August 2014 Location: Canning Garden Home, Ipoh City, Perak, Malaysia Habitat: Urban... Read More

Plantain Squirrel: More on its food

13 Oct 2014   in Fauna No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Plantain Squirrel: More on its food The Plantain Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus) is omnivorous. It eats a wide array of plants (leaves, stems, flowers and fruits). An earlier post reports it eating the fruits of Noni (Morinda citrifolia) and seram palm (Rhopaloblaste ceramica) as well as figs LINK. Nectar and insects like cicada have also been reported eaten LINK. The squirrel also eats birdling like that of the common Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) LINK and possibly also that of the Spotted Dove... Read More

Long-tailed Parakeet in comfort behaviour

12 Oct 2014   in Feathers-maintenance, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Sun Chong Hong
Long-tailed Parakeet in comfort behaviour “I came across a flock of 40 to 50 Long-tailed Parakeet (Psittacula longicauda) on 3rd September 2014 at about 4.40pm. They were perching on the branches of a tree near the entrance to the Lower Peirce Reservoir engaging in comfort behaviour after a shower. By the time I took out my camera, some of them had already left the scene (above). A female(?) was seen exercising her jaw while moving down a bare branch Sun Chong Hong Singapore 2nd October... Read More

Striated Swallow – calls and preening

11 Oct 2014   in Feathers-maintenance, Videography, Vocalisation 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Striated Swallow – calls and preening “Had an opportunity to watch Striated Swallows (Hirundo striolata badia) up close, preening with many calls (above, below). [Please note: This species is now known as Rufous-bellied Swallow (Cecropis badia), an endemic to the Thai-Malay Peninsula - see comment by Subaraj Rajathurai below.] “Calls were predominantly the tremulous “schwirrrr” HERE and waveforms/sonograms below. “…and a sharp “cheenk” or “tweep” HERE and waveforms/sonograms... Read More

Bees and the Bilimbing Averrhoa bilimbi flowers

10 Oct 2014   in Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Bees and the Bilimbing Averrhoa bilimbi flowers The Bilimbing (Averrhoa bilimbi) is a smallish tree that is commonly planted for its sour fruits often used in Asian cooking. The flowers are reddish, in small bunches arising from the stem and branches of the tree. They open in the early morning and attract small bees that come for the pollen and nectar. The Stingless Bee (Trigona sp.) gathers the pollen grains (rich in protein and fat), storing them in the pair of pollen baskets located on the outer surface of the hind... Read More

A DRIPPY SUBJECT

09 Oct 2014   in Feathers-maintenance, Pigeon-Dove No Comments »
Contributed by Lee Chiu San
A DRIPPY SUBJECT  “It is generally believed that pigeons and doves do not bathe in the conventional manner of other birds. That is, they do not dip themselves into water and splash about, as do thrushes, starlings, parrots, white-eyes and many other species. This has been reported in ornithological and avicultural literature. However, it has been said that pigeons and doves wash themselves by rubbing against wet foliage after rain. “I have never seen a pigeon or a dove bathe,... Read More

Lesser Yellownape feeding on ants associated with Dischidia astephana

08 Oct 2014   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Lesser Yellownape feeding on ants associated with Dischidia astephana “My wife and I saw this lovely adult male Lesser Yellownape (Picus chlorolophus) for an extended period (above). “One curious behaviour was pecking at and licking these ‘fleshy growths’ on the trunk of a tree (above, below). It spent quite some time with them. I was considering some form of fruit feeding as I had just seen it feed on fruit (more on this later). “But after a discussion with Dr YC Wee of BESG (a botanist) who identified the plant as... Read More

Bats in my porch: 17. Folivory

07 Oct 2014   in Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Bats in my porch: 17. Folivory The food of the Common Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) consists of mainly fruits, nectar and pollen LINK 1 and LINK 2. However, it occasionally takes leaves as shown in the image on the left (arrow). The images below show two partially eaten leaves, displaying both sides for possible future identification. They were picked up below the roost. Leaves are usually chewed to extract the juice. The pulp as well as parts of the leaves end up on the ground below. Leaves... Read More