• 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 feeding on rambutan: Addendum

25 Jul 2014   in Feeding-plants 4 Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee
Common Flameback feeding on rambutan: Addendum The posting of the Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense) feeding on the ripe fruit of the rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) on 22nd July received queries on whether the bird was actually eating the fruit or picking up ants that usually are found on the surface of the fruit LINK. Since then, Johnny Wee has managed to send in more images just taken from his garden… These show the Common Flameback pecking into the skin of the rambutan and picking up a small glob of white... Read More

YELLOW-VENTED BULBUL PREENING and DEFAECATION

24 Jul 2014   in Comfort behaviour, Videography, Waste No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Leong Tzi Ming
YELLOW-VENTED BULBUL PREENING and DEFAECATION “On the afternoon of 26th June 2014, a Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) was perched high up a mature fig tree and fastidiously preening itself (above). From this vantage point, its sulphur-yellow vent feathers could be admired in all its splendour. “A video clip of this preening activity may be previewed above. “In between preening, there was a brief pause to answer nature’s call. This was preceded by the raising of its tail, lowering of its belly... Read More

Nesting of the Common Iora: 2. Incubation

23 Jul 2014   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Nesting of the Common Iora: 2. Incubation “I recently posted a pair of Common Ioras (Aegithina tiphia horizoptera) collecting spider web for their nest LINK. They are nesting in our immediate home environment and hence observations have become easy and frequent. “They laid eggs on 9th May and I have been keeping a close eye as incubation and fledging periods are unreported locally (Wells 2007). This is a preliminary report from 9-20th May. The minimum observations in a day are 8 and often observations are... Read More

Common Flameback feeding on rambutan

22 Jul 2014   in Feeding-plants 2 Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee
Common Flameback feeding on rambutan Johnny Wee photographed a Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense) pecking into the ripe fruit of the rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) in his garden in July 2014. Although woodpeckers eat mostly insects, they also, to a certain extent, eat fruits and flower nectar. Common Flameback has also been reported to feed on the fruit of chempedak (Artocarpus integer) LINK.... Read More

Pellet casting by a Blue-throated Bee-eater

21 Jul 2014   in Bee-eaters, Pellets No Comments »
Contributed by William Tan & Jeremiah Loei
Pellet casting by a Blue-throated Bee-eater We first encountered William Tan‘s two images below of a Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis) casting a pellet HERE and decided to make them available to a wider audience. He captured these excellent images at Singapore’s Tampines Eco Green Park in July 2014 using a Canon EOS-1D X. He modestly claims that anyone who was there will probably get a better shot. We beg to differ. Most birdwatchers will invariably miss this precious moment as it takes patience... Read More

Nesting of the Common Iora: 1. Harvesting spider web

20 Jul 2014   in Nests, Videography 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Nesting of the Common Iora: 1. Harvesting spider web “I try to make it home for lunch most working days and there is much activity to observe. The resident pair of Common Ioras (Aegithina tiphia horizoptera) are very active calling as they work on their new nest. Both partners actively engaged. “Had an opportunity to watch them harvest spider web to strengthen their nest, while we were having lunch. The bird would open its beak to snag the web (top), then twist the head to apply tension (above). “After some attempts... Read More

© Insights To Blue-winged Pittas: Part 1 Anting

19 Jul 2014   in Feathers-maintenance No Comments »
Contributed by Daisy O’Neill
© Insights To Blue-winged Pittas: Part 1 Anting Behaviour: Anting “Following my series -‘My Odyssey with Blue-winged Pittas’ in 2013 LINK, there had been more developments and opportunities to observe these ground dwellers closer in a different location. “A mixed secondary forest of mangroves – set along edge of sluggish meandering river, overlooked by a provincial village – with pockets of bamboo groves, bushes and no shortage of damp, ground vegetation were simply ideal habitats for... Read More

Lesser Banded Hornets having a drink

18 Jul 2014   in Fauna No Comments »
Contributed by Lena Chow
Lesser Banded Hornets having a drink  “I read with interest the previous article about Giant Honey Bees at a drinking session LINK. “On a hot day last week, I came across this pair of Lesser Banded Hornets (Vespa affinis) lapping up at the edge of a pond, also with pulsating abdomens as with the bees (above, video below). I suppose like the bees, they were also quenching their thirst as well as bringing some of the water back to their nest to cool it. “The Lesser Banded Hornet has an unmistakable large... Read More

Common Macaranga (Macaranga bancana) and its ants

17 Jul 2014   in Fauna, Plants No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee & Wang Luan Keng
Common Macaranga (Macaranga bancana) and its ants The Common Mahang (Macaranga bancana) is commonly seen in Singapore’s secondary forest (above). It is easily recognised by the large, three-lobed leaves and the presence of tiny ants that nest inside the hollows of young twigs. Young leaves are reddish purple with prominent glands lining the edge (below). This is one of the most popular trees with birds. Up up to 30 species have been recorded visiting the tree, mainly for the fruits LINK. The plant has developed an... Read More

Green-billed Malkoha – nest building

16 Jul 2014   in Nesting, Videography 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Green-billed Malkoha – nest building “Spotted a Green-billed Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus tristis longicaudatus) building a nest and harvesting twigs from a nearby dead tree (above, below). Only one adult was seen involved in nest building. “The nest was located in the fork of a young Rain Tree (Albizia saman) approximately 4 meters above the ground level (below). The tree is overgrown with creepers and the nest itself is located in a dense part of these creepers. Besides the twigs, fresh leaves were also... Read More