• 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,...

Pintail Snipe’s tongue and bill

16 Feb 2015   in Morphology-Develop. No Comments »
Contributed by Chan Yoke Meng, Melinda Chan & Wang Luan Keng
Pintail Snipe’s tongue and bill Chan Yoke Meng’s image of a Pintail Snipe (Gallinago stenura) with its bill apart (below) provides a rare opportunity to view two uncommon features – part of the bird’s hyoid apparatus and rhynchokinesis. According to field ornithologist Wang Luan Keng in an earlier post HERE: “Bird tongues are usually not muscular structures but operate by means of a bony extension that points backwards. This bony extension is referred to as the hyoid apparatus.” In the... Read More

Dollarbird’s calls

15 Feb 2015   in Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Dollarbird’s  calls “We spotted a pair of Dollarbirds (Eurystomus orientalis) when out cycling in the early morning and I went back to have a look. They made a lot of calls and I was able to record two type HERE. “The first call is described by Wells 1999 as ‘skatch-skatch’. These are louder, less frequently used. The second half of the recording has the commoner, softer ‘tchek’ single note calls. I often hear them used in communication between pairs, but suspect they are also an... Read More

Plantain Squirrel eats Aristolochia acuminata fruit

14 Feb 2015   in Fauna, Plants 3 Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Plantain Squirrel eats Aristolochia acuminata fruit One morning in early December 2014, I was attracted to the loud cries of a pair of Plantain Squirrels, also known as Common Red-bellied Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus singapurensis). The squirrels were in different trees about 10 metres or more from each other. Whether they were mating or territorial cries, I do not know. But the cries went on for quite a few minutes. One of the squirrels was at the top of my Noni tree (Morinda citrifolia). Initially I thought it was eating... Read More

The Saddlebird of New Zealand

13 Feb 2015   in Videography, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Teo Lee Wei, K & Dr Eric Tan
The Saddlebird of New Zealand “The Saddleback (Philesturnus carunculatus) is a wattlebird related to the kokako LINK. The chestnut coloured saddle and wattles differentiates it from the kokako with the purple coloured wattles. It is an insect feeder and is usually found at mid-tree level, hopping about in search of insects and grubs. “Once common throughout the main island, they are now found on safe island havens which have eliminated rats, stoats and possums. “This specimen was filmed at... Read More

Olive-backed Sunbird – extra metallic plumage

12 Feb 2015   in Morphology-Develop., Sunbirds 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Olive-backed Sunbird – extra metallic plumage “A very friendly male Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis flammaxillaris) with the lovely chestnut-red band across the lower breast. It was in full sun which aided a clear observation of the metallic plumage. “What was curious is the extra metallic plumage just behind the eye. This was symmetrical on both sides (above). Not seen this before. Any opinions on this valued. “The bird seem to make sure I had my fill of images and gave many different postures showing... Read More

Sighting of Lesser Adjutant

11 Feb 2015   in Species No Comments »
Contributed by Chan Yoke Meng & Melinda Chan
Sighting of Lesser Adjutant Chan Yoke Meng photographed the Lesser Adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus) on 7th January 2015 at Punggol Barat. “Uncertain if this individual is an escapee or visitor from Malaysia. I have been to River Safari at the Zoological Gardens and the Lesser Adjutants are in an enclosure with high net on top, no way they can escape,” wrote Melinda Chan. For a discussion on local sightings of this stork, please refer to this... Read More

A dragonfly feasting on another dragonfly

10 Feb 2015   in Fauna No Comments »
Contributed by KC Tsang
“Dragonflies are fascinating insects that have existed even before the dinosaurs. They are biting insects, unlike moths and butterflies which have tube-like mouthparts for sucking nectar from flowers. “Dragonflies and damselflies are predators. As such, their mouth parts are also adapted for biting and holding on to their prey. Almost any insects small enough can be their prey, even their own kinds are fair game. “This Variegated Green Skimmer (Orthetrum Sabina), a... Read More

Ashy Tailorbird – male warning calls

09 Feb 2015   in Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ashy Tailorbird – male warning calls “Came across a pair of Ashy Tailorbird (Orthotomus ruficeps cineraceus) and their behaviour and calls suggested they were nesting. The calls made were the ‘zeze, zezee’ type, HERE. “The sonogram and waveform are shown below. “Calls were made predominantly by the male with occasional soft answering by female.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 31st October 2014 Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia Habitat: Mixed... Read More

DARK BRAND BUSH BROWN MALE RIVALRY

08 Feb 2015   in Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Leong Tzi Ming
DARK BRAND BUSH BROWN MALE RIVALRY “On the morning of 29th October 2014, I was along forest edge and witnessed bouts of confrontational behaviour between two male Dark Brand Bush Brown butterflies (Mycalesis mineus macromalayana, family Nymphalidae, subfamily Satyrinae). “In between frantic chasing flights, there were brief moments when both were perched together upon leaves and apparently engaged in sparring sessions. The challenger male would face his opponent at a right angle and flash his wings... Read More

A closer look at Cave Nectar Bats visiting banana flowers

07 Feb 2015   in Fauna, Plants, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
A closer look at Cave Nectar Bats visiting banana flowers Two earlier posts documented the visits by Cave Nectar Bats (Eonycteris spelaea) to banana flowers (Musa cultivars) for their nectar LINK 1 and LINK 2. The bat usually circles around the plant before landing on the flowers. It uses its sharp claw at the end of each thumb to cling onto the inflorescence bud. It then proceeds to probe into the flowers (above). This involves pushing its narrow snout between the two perianths (the larger upper and the smaller lower to get at... Read More