Frugivory by the Checker-throated Woodpecker Chrysophlegma mentale

I recently described the feeding technique of the Checker-throated Woodpecker Chrysophlegma mentale (Amar-Singh HSS 2023). On 22nd May 2023 I had another extended opportunity (25 minutes) to observe the feeding behaviour of a pair of Checker-throated Woodpeckers. As seen before, and noted in the literature, the birds explore cavities or do surface gleaning for prey; cavities were preferred.

I was also able to document frugivory (fruit feeding) by the Checker-throated Woodpecker. I saw both birds feeding on the fruit of the Trema orientalis. Photographic observation was difficult as the birds sat on the bushy crown of the tree and were often obscured. But feeding was rapid with many fruits taken. Fortunately, one image documented the fruit being taken (see image 1).

Image 1: Checker-throated Woodpecker Chrysophlegma mentale feeding on the fruit of the Trema orientalis

The birds also visited two fruiting Ficus trees (one had unripe fruit, see image 2; the other had ripe fruit) but I was not able to see any fruit feeding.

Image 2: Checker-throated Woodpecker Chrysophlegma mentale at fruiting Ficus tree

In the past I have reported the Checker-throated Woodpecker feed on the fruit of a Giant Mahang (Macaranga gigantea) (Amar-Singh HSS 2022).

Wells (2007) does not describe any frugivory for the region. On the diet, Gorman (2014) mentions “sometimes berries” but provides no details of the type or identification. I reviewed online images, including the Macaulay Library, and found one more fruit feeding documentation (apart from mine) – an image by Chun-Fai Lo (2019) of a Checker-throated Woodpecker feeding on Giant Mahang.

The documentation supports that Checker-throated Woodpeckers feed on a number of different fruit types. More work is required in this area.

In the past, I have also observed the Crimson-winged Woodpecker (Picus puniceus observandus) and Banded Woodpecker (Picus miniaceus malaccense) feeding on the fruit of the Giant Mahang (Macaranga gigantea) (see Amar-Singh HSS 2015).



  1. Amar-Singh HSS (2023). Checker-throated Woodpecker Chrysophlegma mentale Feeding Technique. Bird Ecology Study Group.
  2. Amar-Singh HSS (2023). New species observed feeding on Giant Mahang fruit. Bird Ecology Study Group.
  3. Wells, D.R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 1 (Non-Passerines). Christopher Helm, London.
  4. Gorman, G. (2014). Woodpeckers of the World. The Complete Guide. Christopher Helm, London, UK.
  5. Chun-Fai Lo (2019). Image of a Checker-throated Woodpecker feeding on Giant Mahang fruit at Gunung Panti RF, Johor, Malaysia. Macaulay Library.
  6. Amar-Singh HSS (2015). Frugivory by Woodpeckers: Crimson-winged and Banded. Bird Ecology Study Group.


Red-rumped parrots Psephotus haematonotus

posted in: Feeding-plants | 0

Red-rumped parrots are seen occasionally in Victor Harbor.  A flock of these birds appeared on consecutive days and hanged around some wires in the mornings and then again in the evenings.  The males are brightly coloured with a red rump while the female is more drab and has an absence of the red rump.

They mostly stay together in pairs and preen very vigorously before flying away together.

Wong Kais managed to get a few shots and video clips when they came close to where he was.

Image 1: A pair of Red-rumped Parrots on a wire. The colourful male is on the left and the less brightly coloured female is on the right. The female is preening its feathers. 29 May 2023. Credit Wong Kais. Victor Harbor
Image 2: A pair of the parrots were foraging on a grass patch. The red patch on the rump is evident in the male and female lacks that telling red patch. 3 June 2023. Credit Wong Kais. Victor Harbor
Image 3: The male parrot reaches to the soil and tugs at the grass rhizome/stolon. 3 June 2023. Credit Wong Kais. Victor Harbor
Image 4: The female also reaches down for the grass stolon. 3 June 2023. Credit Wong Kais. Victor Harbor
Image 5: The female Red-rumped parrot has pulled up a short section of grass stolon, seen as a short white strand in its beak. 3 June 2023. Credit Wong Kais. Victor Harbor
Image 6: The female parrot chewing on the short section of white coloured grass stolon. 3 June 2023. Credit Wong Kais. Victor Harbor


Video 1: The Red-rumped parrots appeared on the wire on consecutive days. This pair was seen to preen themselves a distance away from the others.  Although they fly onto the wire in a group they tend to maintain a distance from other pairs or individuals. Wong Kais. 29 May 2023. Victor Harbor

Video 2: On the morning of 29 May 2023 the Red-rumped parrots were seen hanging out with European starlings.  They coexisted peacefully with each individual doing their favourite activity of self-preening. Wong Kais. Victor Harbor

Video 3: At 4. 30 pm 3 June 2023 a pair of Red-rumped parrots flew onto the grass patch and started tugging at the grass stolons and chewing on them. Wong Kais. Victor Harbor

These Red-rumped parrots exhibit the same feeding behaviour as the House Sparrows LINK  in this area.



  1. Fleurieu Birds: What to see and where to see them by Peter Gower © 2012
  2. Pictures of Red-rumped parrots in Australia,hollows%2C%20often%20in%20dead%20trees.


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Stripe-nosed Halfbeak (Zenarchopterus buffonis)

posted in: Fishes | 0
A Stripe-nosed Halfbeak (Zenarchopterus buffonis). Photo credit Soh Kam Yung


Soh Kam Yung spotted a Stripe-nosed Halfbeak (Zenarchopterus buffonis) at Pasir Ris Park on 26 Feb 2023.

He explains that this is a common fish often seen in mangrove areas.

Kam Yung also elaborated that for those unfamiliar with the fish, it is a small fish (20 cm long) with a very long lower jaw that ends with a white spot at the tip. The short upper jaw ends just after the eyes. It feeds on food on the water surface and is usually seen together in groups just under the surface.


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Female olive-backed sunbird visits Russelia flowers

posted in: bird, Feeding-plants, Videography | 0

A female olive-backed sunbird was seen collecting nectar from the Russelia equisetiformis flowers.  These plants are commonly called firecrackers in Singapore.  The branches which are allowed to cascade down from a height are covered profusely with small flowers.  There are red, pink and beige cultivars of these flowers.

Sunbirds love to visit them although they did not coevolve.  Sunbirds are native to the Old World, extending from Africa to Middle East, Asia to tropical Australia. Russelia is native to Mexico. Hummingbirds are native to the Americas and share similar long curved bills with the sunbirds. Sunbirds therefore are suitably adapted to collect nectar from the introduced Russelia flowers.

Sheng Lau shared the above video showing the female sunbird flitting from flower to flower.  The video was taken in his garden on 2 June 2023.





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White-Faced Heron Egretta novaehollandiae catches a snake for lunch

posted in: bird, Feeding strategy, Videography | 0
Videograb: The White-Faced Heron manipulating the small snake in its beak just before swallowing it whole. Wong Kais. 26 May 2023. Inman River, Victor Harbor.


A quiet stroll by the beach rewarded Wong Kais with a video of a White-Faced Heron Egretta novaehollandiae catching a slithery reptile for lunch. Kais managed to capture the bird’s hunting strategy. The rather big bluish-grey bird, approximately 70 cm in height, caught his attention. He decided to train his camera on it and follow its movements.  The bird caught its lunch and ate the writhing snake whole within seconds of it being caught.  View the video below to see the quick snack the heron had.

Text by Teo Lee Wei.

Video by Wong Kais.

Singapore-Nature: 13. Biodiversity-Red Data Book

posted in: History | 0

The Straits Times of 4th March, 1993.

In the 1960s the then Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch) played an important role in making people aware of the need to conserve the environment. The rapid clearing of land for housing and industries resulted in pockets of nature areas fast disappearing. This in turn led to concerns of the possibilities of plant and animal species disappearing fast. At the same time there was a realisation that the world’s species of flora and fauna might similarly be in danger of extinction. Species extinction is acceptable but the accelerated rate is another question. Once extinct, the species is a loss to mankind forever. A good example is the giant squirrel named by Stamford Raffles in 1821. Indigenous to Singapore, it is the biggest of the species. Now it is so rare that in 1991 only two were spotted in the Central Catchment area.

The Straits Times of 24th November, 1991.

In June 1994 P.K.L. Ng and Y.C. Wee, with the help of a team of zoologists and botanists from the National University of Singapore, as well as citizen scientists from the nature society, published The Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened Plants and Animals of Singapore. The primary purpose of publishing the Red Data Book was to raise awareness about the conservation status of species and to encourage their protection and conservation. Countries that publish their individual Red Data books show their commitments to protect their plant and animal species and to ensure the long-term survival of their biodiversity.

P.K.L. Ng (right) and Y.C. Wee.

This Red Data book listed about 250 species of plants and animals, each accompanied by a black and white photo. The status of the organism, whether vulnerable, endangered, extinct or indeterminate was also stated. A short description of the organism, its habitat and ecology, distribution, threat (habitat loss, over collection, unviable population level, poaching, etc.), scientific interest and potential value as well as conservation measures to be taken were included. The book was funded by Asia Pacific Breweries as a community service project. A second edition, with updates and colour images was published by the Nature Society (Singapore) in conjunction with the National Parks Board in 2008. Currently the National Parks Board is in the process of updating another volume, also with colour images.

The Singapore Red Data Book, first edition (left) and second edition.

Less than six months later another book was published: A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore by Y.C. Wee and P.K.L. Ng, again from the then Departments of Botany and Zoology respectively, of the National University of Singapore. Contributors included I.M. Turner, C.L. Meng, T.K. Tan, H.T.W. Tan and D.J. Metcalf. All the plants and animals found in Singapore, current as well as past (through publications) were listed. Funds for the publication of the book came from the Rag and Flag day collections by the National University of Singapore Students Union.

A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore.

In 1991, the society worked with government to establish the Singapore Green Plan, which outlined the government’s commitment to environmental conservation and sustainability. Since then, the government had implemented various measures to protect and conserve the natural environment, such as the creation of the National Biodiversity Centre and the National Parks Board, and the designation of nature reserves and protected areas.

The Straits Times of 13th March, 2023.

Loss of biodiversity is caused by a variety of factors, including habitat destruction, pollution, climate change, overexploitation of resources, and invasive species. Every now and then, a species thought to be endangered or extinct, is rediscovered, as in the case of the critically endangered catfish found in a freshwater swamp.

Since the publication of the book, the Singapore government has implemented various measures to protect biodiversity, such as the creation of new parks and reserves, the restoration of degraded habitats, and the reintroduction of extinct species. Singapore signed the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992, showing its commitment to halting this loss not only in Singapore but in the world at large.


YC Wee

24th May 2023

An avenue of trees adorned with blooming orchid plants?

posted in: Miscellaneous | 0

A wayside tree along Hua Guan Avenue.

In my evening walk along Hua Guan Avenue, I was pleasantly surprised to encounter a number of wayside trees adorned with orchid plants in full bloom. The dainty flowers of different colours, hanging gracefully from long stalks, make the wayside alive. These orchids were obviously grown by residents, using their spare plants.

The Singapore Monitor – 9th February 1985.

This experience brought back memories from years gone by – February 1985 to be precise. I had then suggested that attaching Pigeon Orchids and selected ferns to trees could add colours to the Orchard areas. This would also make the areas more attractive to tourists. A landscape consultant with Garden and Landscape was fascinated with the idea, adding “It’s a very good suggestion and it’s worth experimenting. If it is successful, it will create a new dimension for street landscaping.” The Singapore Tourism Board also supported the idea, adding: “It sounds like a very interesting idea. It will certainly add colour to the vicinity.” Sadly, the then Parks and Recreation Department was not supportive because of safety reasons, adding that it was more practical for parks and gardens but not for the roadside.

The Straits Times of 7th February, 1990.

Five years later, I was delighted to read in The Straits Times that the newly formed National Parks Board was sending workers to attach some 500 Pigeon Orchids to trees along Orchard Road and Orchard Boulevard. These orchids bear white flowers that bloom together in a particular area. At the same time the flowers emit a sweet perfume.

A tree along Jalan Kampong Chantek adorned with colourful orchid plants.

Thanks to neighbour Mr. Yap Wai Ming who alerted me to the presence of trees along Jalan Kampong Chantek with blooming orchids attached and to Ms. Teo Soh Lung who provided transport, I was able to visit the area and photograph these trees. Many of the attached orchids have tags attached thanking donors. Can this imply that it was a residents’ initiative?

Another tree with an orchid plant attached – note the tag below thanking the donor.

Thanks to the National Parks Board, we now have a fragrant Orchard area whenever the orchids bloom. Now how about brightening the Orchard area? Can we emulate the residents of Jalan Kampong Chantek and Hua Guan Avenue? They have successfully proven that orchid plants attached to the trunks of wayside trees do not cause damage to the trees.

A tree along Binjai Park with non-flowering orchid plants attached to the trunk.

In another walk along Binjai Park, I also noticed a number of large trees with orchids tied to their trunks. However they were not flowering. These trees were not fronting any houses. Is possible that the orchid plants were not placed there by residents. Can this be an experimental area? If so, are the authorities conducting an experiment? 


Currently we are engaging the Binjai Neighbourhood Committee to get residents involved in beautifying the roads in the area with orchids. If successful, we hope to turn the roads in the Binjai Neighbourhood into the most colourful areas in Singapore when these plants come to bloom.


YC Wee

19th May 2023.

House Sparrows dig and chew on grass stolons

posted in: bird, Feeding-plants | 0
Image 1: A female (left) and a male (right) House sparrows seen foraging on the lawn. Photo atttribute Wong Kais. 18 May 2023.

A small flock of House Sparrows Passer domesticus kept themselves busy on a recently mowed grass lawn in Victor Harbor, South Australia. The birds were seen picking up pieces of cut stems, chewing them and throwing the chewed parts out of the beaks. They also tugged at the fresh grass stolons (stems which grow horizontal to the soil surface and are able to grow new plants at short intervals) and chewed on these pieces longer than the dried pieces they sampled from the ground.

The weather was a sunny 14º C, with very light wind on 18 May 2023.

Image 2: Male sparrow chewing on a piece of fresh stolon. Photo attribute Wong Kais. 18 May 2023.
Image 3: A female sparrow digging for grass stolon. Photo attribute Wong Kais. 18 May 2023.

The birds’ actions bring to mind how humans enjoy chewing on cut sugar cane stems for the thirst-quenching sweet juice.

Galahs and parrots (seed eaters) are known to chew on grass stems to supplement their diet with sugars stored in the grass stems. Read this and this post.


  1. General information about House Sparrows Passer domesticus in Australia,parts%20are%20pale%20grey%2Dbrown.
  2. General information about House Sparrows in Australia
  3. Wikipedia


Photographs and videograph © Wong Kais

Text by Teo Lee Wei


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Food Items for Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier Nestlings

We have a pair of Yellow-vented Bulbuls Pycnonotus goiavier nesting in the neighbourhood. I was alerted to them this morning (14th May 2023) as I heard adults making warning calls when a neighbourhood cat approached too close to the nesting site. I chased off the cat and the birds were then able to continue feeding their young.  

Although the birds allowed me to watch their nest at close range, I decided to use the car as a hide to minimise any disturbance, and to avoid others in the neighbourhood from recognising there was a nest present.  

I watched continually from 7.30 to 8.30am to observe feeding behaviour and food items brought to nestlings. After that I had to abandon watching as we are currently having a heat wave and the car became uncomfortable to stay in.  

The nest is located in an urban garden, placed in a Cordyline terminalis bush at approximately 0.75 meters above the ground. The nest is well hidden in the centre of the bush and it is not possible to see the juveniles unless I ask for access to the neighbour’s home and look directly from above (I have not done this). I am uncertain as to the maturity of the chicks, but from prey items brought to the nest, they appear to be fairly developed.  

Adults often come together (at the same time) with prey or very close to each other. One adult would wait for the other to finish feeding before entering the nest. They often leave the nest area together. There was no attempt to have one adult stay and protect the nest unless a threat was observed (see below). Once a large portion of Papaya fruit was offered but it appeared to be too bulky for the young to take. It was then removed, broken down and reoffered as a smaller portion. On one occasion a large Dragonfly was brought to the nest with the wings removed. On four occasions, when insect prey was brought, both adults arrived, although only one had prey.  

Variety of food items brought to nestlings. The crest is raised when threat is perceived.


There were 17 feeding episodes over the 60 minutes. Mean feeding frequency was every 3.8 minutes with a range of 1-9 minutes and a mode of 1 minute. 6 food items were fruit (3 Ficus fruit, possibly Ficus benjamina, and 3 Papaya portions). 7 food items were winged insects (all were different insect species; one was an orange Dragonfly). 1 item was a small frog. 3 food items were not seen. The composite image shows some of the food items brought to nestlings. Notice that in a number of images, the crest of the birds is erect due to the presence of perceived threats.  

I did not see any faecal sac removal during this period. I am also observing another Yellow-vented Bulbul this week at a forest location, where the chicks are very young. At that nest I once saw an adult consume a faecal sac. Although the literature states that faecal sacs are carried away from the nest, I wonder if the sacs of very young birds, that may be nutrient rich, are consumed.  

On three occasions in the one hour of observation, the adult birds chased away other pairs of Yellow-vented Bulbuls that had strayed too close to their nesting site; this was at 8-10 meters from the nest site. Other birds like Eurasian Tree Sparrows Passer montanus, Common Mynas Acridotheres tristis, Asian Glossy Starlings Aplonis panayensis and Brown-throated Sunbirds Anthreptes malacensis were ignored. On one occasion a Common Treeshrew Tupaia glis was in the area, about 8-10 meters away on the road, and the birds immediately flew to its location and monitored its movements from the safety of electrical wires. In our garden, nesting has significantly reduced in the past few years due to the daily/continual presence of Common Treeshrews. All these perceived-threat-events interrupted feeding of the young. 


Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS 

 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 


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25 Responses

  1. kris

    I just found a young dollarbird in the garden.. It seems to have left the nest too early and cannot fly yet. How am i to keep and feed it for a few days untill it can fly.???

  2. Iwan

    We have a small pond in our garden surrounded by trees and steep bedrock. The other day we saw a heron flying over and attempting to land – I guess to try to eat our small stock of fish. We managed to frighten it away before it landed, and have since installed trip wires around the pond in order to dissuade the bird. The amount of shelter around the pond means that a heron would have to land practically vertically. Does anyone know whether these birds have the agility to hover and land in this way, or do they always need a “glidepath” in order to land successfully?

  3. Khng Eu Meng

    Today, at the former Bidadari Cemetery, there was a buzz about a sighting of a Grey Nightjar (Caprimulgus jotaka). I heard some birders say this nightjar isn’t commonly seen in Singapore. After some hunting, we spotted it asleep on a tree branch, some 15 m above ground. This was rather interesting as my previous encounters with nightjars have been on either terra firma or on low branches.

    Is this perching so high up the tree normal or is it unusual? I have posted a photo of it on my Facebook Timeline:

  4. Jess

    Bird Sanctuary At Former Bidadari Cementry

    1)Which is the best spot in Bidadari cemetery for bird watch?

    2)Where this bird usually resident at?

    3)What are some of the rare bird species that can be found at Bidadari?

    4)Where is the particular hot spot for the hornbills, eagles, kingfishers and some of the rare migratory bird?

    5)Which part of Bidadari are richest in it wildlife?

    6)Can you name me the 59 migratory bird species found?

  5. YC

    Why not search the website using the word ‘Bidadari’ to obtain the information you need. There should be sufficient info in past postings to satisfy you.

  6. Firdaus Razak

    Hai, I just want to ask did anybody had an experience bring bird from oversea via MasKargo? Did the bird will stress at high altitude?

  7. Chung Wah

    Hi, I am new to bird photography! Could anyone advise a good pair of binoculars to get for this hobby?

  8. Geam Liang

    I ‘acquired’ a female Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot 5 days ago – was in a public place when the bird flew overhead hit the wall and dropped right in front of me dazed. I picked it up, it appeared unhurt but could not sustain it’s flight. I have since constructed a fairly large ‘cage’ for it, about 4ft x 2fx x 2ft and placed it there last night. I temporarily placed her in a normal bird cage until I had completed the build.
    From what I have read up, it’s a fruit, seed and insect feeder and also nectar, flower buds. It’s doing as well as it can on bananas, papaya, jack-fruit (didn’t touch the grape) and seeds (black and white sunflower and other smaller ones). It loves to bathe so I’ve gotten it a tray and from what I read it’s important to keep things clean as it easily succumbs to infection.
    Does anyone else have any useful experience and sharing on it’s upkeep? I suspect this bird is an escapee – as far as I can read up, it’s not common, if at all, found in Georgetown, Penang where I am. I’m also not optimistic that it can survive if I were to set it free – assuming it can sustain it’s flight and not go crashing down and if there were dogs/cats around that would be the end of it.
    I can attach some pictures but not sure how to do this…

  9. Lee Chiu San

    The blue-crowned hanging parrot, even though very closely related to the lovebirds, is a nectar feeder. You would raise it the way you raise a lorikeet – which is a messy process. And because you are mixing batches of food for just one little bird, whereas I used to do it for about half a dozen pigeon-sized lorikeets each morning, I don’t know how you are going to get the portions down to manageable sizes. Anyway, here goes, with my recipe for feeding big lories. You can adjust the proportions down accordingly for your little bird.

    The staple diet would be a couple of slices of soft fruit (papaya, apple, grapes, even though I am surprised that you said the bird would not eat any) and a mixture of cooked rice sweetened with nectar mix.

    How to make nectar mix? Go to a pharmacy and get a can of food for invalids or infants. I use Complan, but I am sure any good baby formula would do. I usually make up enough to fill a beer mug, but there is no way you need that amount for a day’s feeding. If in doubt, make the mixture thinner, not thicker. Birds cannot digest baby formula that is too thick. If it is too thin, they simply have to consume more to get the required amount of energy. Then to this mug, add half a teaspoonful of rose syrup. Also stir in about a cup of cooked rice, well mashed up.

    In the case of your bird, I suggest that you pour this lot into an ice-cube tray, freeze the mixture, and defrost one cube to feed it each day.

    Now, you said that this bird eats sunflower seeds. This is most unusual for a blue-crowned hanging parrot. Are you sure that this is actually the species you have? Could it be possible that you have actually got a pet lovebird that escaped? There are so many different artificially-created breeds of lovebirds in so many colours that you might have been mistaken.

    If you actually have a lovebird, feeding is much simpler. Just go to the nearest pet shop, buy a packet of budgerigar or cockatiel seed of a reputable international brand, and offer it to the bird. You can supplement this with a couple of slices of fruit each day, and that will be all. Plus of course fresh water and a piece of cuttlefish bone to nibble on.

  10. Lee Chiu San

    About nectar feeding birds. I forgot to add that feeding nectar is messy, and it goes rancid very quickly in our tropical weather. Feeding containers have to be removed and thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day. The birds also splatter the mixture and wipe their beaks on perches and the bars of the cage. All my lories and lorikeets used to be housed in outdoor aviaries which were hosed down daily.

    If Geam Liang does not think the bird will survive if released, I really hope that it is a case of mistaken identity, and that you have a lovebird, rather than a blue-crowned hanging parrot. In our part of the world, all available lovebirds are domestically bred, take to captivity readily, and are easy to feed with commercially available seed mixtures. Yes, and being domestic pets, they would not survive if released.

  11. Geam Liang

    Thank you Chiu San for your inputs. Thus far, bananas and papayas work well. I’m not sure why it did not take to grapes – will try again. Am I supposed to peel it? I didn’t the last time, basically skewered a couple of grapes to a satay stick and positioned it as I did for the sliced and skinned papaya and peeled bananas.
    I have yet to try rice and certainly not nectar but will try out your concoction – have half a mind to go to a pet shop to see if they carry nectar for birds. The ice-cube freeze method is a good one, will try that. I might be mistaken on the sunflower seeds… not touched but it did eat the much smaller roundish, mixed colored seeds. Will remove the sunflower seeds.
    I’m sure it’s a female blue crowned hanging parrot.. it sleeps like a bat every night.

  12. Lee Chiu San

    When feeding local birds which are unfamiliar with imported fruits such as grapes, it helps to split the fruits to expose the edible parts. As to your remark that the bird sleeps hanging upside down like a bat, yes, that is the way blue-crowned hanging parrots sleep.

  13. Geam Liang

    Thanks… I need to think like a bird – yup. She has probably not seen a grape much less know that it’s edible, unless the previous owner has fed her with grapes… even then… Today she’s done pretty well making the most of the banana and all of the papaya plus quite a bit of seeds. Will try the baby food + mashed rise + rose syrup.
    Will regular honey do instead of rose syrup?

  14. Lee Chiu San

    About making nectar to feed birds. Most aviculturalists do not use honey for two reasons: 1. It is expensive and does not seem to give any added benefits. 2. Honey is made by bees, and the composition varies wildly. Some honeys are also known to cause fungal infection in birds.

    If you do not want to buy a huge bottle of rose syrup just for one tiny bird, there are cheaper alternatives. The first is plain table sugar, though most don’t seem to like it very much.

    What many birds will accept quite readily as a sweetener is condensed milk – the type with sugar that coffee shop owners use.

    Many, many birds have a sweet tooth (or should I say sweet beak?) Besides the usual suspects of lories, lorikeets, sunbirds and hummingbirds, for whom it is an essential part of the diet, nectar mixture is readily consumed by mynahs, leafbirds, fairy bluebirds, barbets, doves, parrots of all kinds, and a whole host of other species.

  15. Geam Liang

    I tried the condensed mild, placed in in a small bottle cap.. only the ants showed interest. Am I supposed to dilute it? I didn’t =( I took you advice and refrained from honey. Have yet to find Rose Syrup from the shelves of TESCO… will try to mix the baby food + mashed rise + rose syrup/sugar syrup this week…

  16. David Thackray

    Can anyone help me identify a bird I saw in Singapore last week. Size of a smakll dove or thrush. Dark metallic back. Grey breast with red throat, chest.

  17. Emily Koh

    Lately I bought a bird feeder which I fill with 4parts water n 1 part white sugar. Sunbirds come regularly to drink and they are really lovely to watch. May I know if it is bad for them to feed on this? Previously they would sometimes pierce and drink from my potted flowers

  18. Emily Koh

    Lately I bought a bird feeder which I fill with 4parts water n 1 part white sugar. Sunbirds come regularly to drink and they are really lovely to watch. May I know if it is bad for them to feed on this? Previously they would sometimes pierce and drink from my potted flowers.

  19. Mahadevi Bhuti

    One of best souce for the bird watcher’s enjoying knowledge about ornithology

  20. Martin Nyffeler (PhD)

    Dear Sir / Dear Madame,

    I am a Senior Lecturer in Zoology at a University in Switzerland and I urgently need to get in touch with photographer Chan Yoke Meng, who takes beautiful photographs of birds near Singapore. Would you please mail me the email address of this photographer!


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