• 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 Heron’s Eel Catch

14 Apr 2015   in Feeding-vertebrates 4 Comments »
Contributed by Kwong Wai Chong
Purple Heron's Eel Catch “I managed to observe a Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) in action after about an hour of waiting. Correct me if I’m wrong – the prey seems to be an eel. [Note: Marcus Ng a.k.a. budak - see comment below - has identified the eel as Oriental Swamp Eel or Monopterus albus.] “This Purple Heron was observed standing in shallow water next to reeds on the bank of a pond in Lorong Halus. It was very patient and stayed in the same position with minimal... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 8. Black-shouldered Kite feeding chicks

13 Apr 2015   in Feeding chicks, Feeding-vertebrates, Raptors 1 Comment »
Contributed by Chan Yoke Meng & Melinda Chan
Pellets from Tuas: 8. Black-shouldered Kite feeding chicks The ground below the nest of the Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) is often littered with carcases of mice and numerous pellets. The image above shows a headless mice found below the nest. An intact mouse was also found below the nest (below) We believe they fell from the nest when brought in by an adult. We had observed that within minutes on the ground the dead mice would be covered with ants. Thus returning it to the nest would introduce ants and pathogens.... Read More

Glossy Swiftlet – nesting conflict

12 Apr 2015   in Intraspecific, Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Glossy Swiftlet – nesting conflict “We noticed a small flock (10-12) of nesting Glossy Swiftlets (Collocalia esculenta cyanoptila) starting to build nests on the under surface of the balconies of an apartment building. Usually these swiftlets choose darker environments like car parks or large drainage tunnels, etc, so this was a bit unusual. “However the main observation was the conflict between the nesting birds. One pair had managed to find a good nesting site and was clinging on to that corner surface... Read More

Painted Jezebel caterpillars grazing on Malayan Mistletoe leaves

11 Apr 2015   in Butterflies and Moths, Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Painted Jezebel caterpillars grazing on Malayan Mistletoe leaves The Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete metarete) is an attractive common butterfly (above). Its host plant is the Malayan Mistletoe (Dendrophthoe pentandra) (below). This semi-parasitic plant grows on the branches of many other plants. The butterfly lays a clutch of tiny eggs on the undersurface of the leaves (below). Once the eggs hatch, the tiny caterpillars start feeding on the leaf that the eggs were laid. Generally the eggs hatch more or less together such that all... Read More

Black-shouldered Kite eats a Javan Myna

10 Apr 2015   in Feeding-vertebrates, Raptors, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Wang Luan Keng & YC Wee
Black-shouldered Kite eats a Javan Myna Field ornithologist Wang Luan Keng came across a the Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) tearing a dead Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) apart on a high perch recently, as shown in the video clip above. On the ground below were remnants of earlier meals – feathers and parched bones of a Javan Myna (above) as well as a few pellets (below). The pellets were collected and the bone fragments extracted (below: numbers correspond to those of pellets; scale in mm).... Read More

Mountain Tailorbird nesting

09 Apr 2015   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Mountain Tailorbird nesting “Occasionally a visit to the highlands is a throwback to a time 30-40 years ago when the warbler and babblers and nesting birds were abundant. Today I had to decide which bird to spend time with, so plentiful was the opportunity. “Tailorbirds are one of my favourites and I saw this adult in breeding plumage collecting nesting material. Unlike others in the family, this one does not stitch nests. The nest was located on a slope, deeper in the jungle and not... Read More

Butterflies attracted to banana plants

08 Apr 2015   in Butterflies and Moths, Fauna No Comments »
Contributed by Khew Sin Khoon & YC Wee
Butterflies attracted to banana plants An earlier post list a gecko, a bat and birds that visit the banana plant for the flower nectar or the ripe fruits LINK. This post highlights the butterflies associated with the banana plant. The Red Helen (Papilio helenus) (top) and the Common Birdwing (Troides helena) (above) were photographed at the Penang Butterfly Farm by Khew Sin Khoon of Butterfly Circle. The food plant of these butterflies is the wild banana found growing in the forest, now popularly grown as a... Read More

WHITE-CRESTED LAUGHINGTHRUSH – ANTING

07 Apr 2015   in Feathers-maintenance, Videography 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
WHITE-CRESTED LAUGHINGTHRUSH – ANTING “On the morning of 12th November 2014, I was taking a stroll along forest edge when I encountered a small flock of White-crested Laughingthrushes (Garrulax leucolophus). Some were approaching the base of a lamp post and expressed interest in an aggregation of Weaver Ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) on the grass and concrete (above). “Then without much hesitation, the birds picked up the ants one at a time and applied them onto their feathers repeatedly (images 2 &... Read More

Large Niltava – warning calls at nest

06 Apr 2015   in Videography, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Large Niltava – warning calls at nest “The classical calls of the Large Niltava (Niltava grandis decipiens) have always been magical to me since my younger days of visiting the hill stations. They have a fairy, ethereal like quality. Glenister (1971) describes them best ‘It is the author of one of the most characteristic sounds of the mountain jungle – a plaintive, soft, yet far carrying, musical whistle of three ascending notes’. Many authors have rendered this musical note into words but almost always... Read More

Yellow-vented Bulbul and Singapore Rhododendron fruit

05 Apr 2015   in Feeding-plants, Videography 2 Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Yellow-vented Bulbul and Singapore Rhododendron fruit I was waiting for the attractive Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum) to video-record it taking the fruits of Singapore Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum). Instead the Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) flew in and ate up all the fruits (above). We have a number of posts on the colourful Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker LINK but only a brief mention of the Yellow-vented Bulbul eating the fruits LINK. This bulbul is a common bird of urban areas. As such... Read More