I have yet to renew my Nature Society (Singapore)’s membership…

posted in: Miscellaneous | 0

The Sunday Times, 20th August 1978

Background

I have been associated with the Nature Society (Singapore) for the last 62 years. I joined as an ordinary member in 1960 and served as its Hon. Secretary (then known as Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch) or MNS(S) from 1978 to 1990 (see above). We re-registered the society as Nature Society (Singapore) or NSS in 1991. I was then the Ag. Chairman of MNS(S) as the then Chairman Prof. PN Avadhani, was on sabbatical leave. This was how I ended up as the Founding President of NSS (see below).

Within a year we were in confrontation with government on its proposal to clear a track of the Lower Peirce forest for a 36-hole golf course HERE. As President, I requested Dr Ho Hua Chew, the Conservation Committee’s Chairman, to deal with the problem. He declined and so I took charge. We eventually managed to convince government not to proceed with the golf course.

Chairmen of Nature Society (Singapore Branch ) and Presidents of Nature Society (Singapore), 1986-2022.

I remained President for four years as I firmly believe that to remain too long would kill enthusiasm across the organisation. And a lingering leadership would eventually become a dead weight and this is bad. The society needs new blood every so many years as this brings fresh perspective.

Bird Ecology Study Group (BESG)

For the next 15 years I remained an ordinary member. In 2005, together with a few others, we applied to the society to run a new activity group, the Bird Ecology Study Group (BESG). The older Bird Group (BG) was totally against our application as its Chairman claimed exclusiveness – only BG should be allowed to undertake activities involving birds. We countered that BESG’s scientific studies on bird behaviour would complement the mainly recreational activities of the BG, but to no avail. Its core leaders comprising Lim Kim Kean, Lim Kim Seng and Dr. Ho Hua Chew were adamant about rejecting BESG’s application. For three months the Executive Council failed to resolve the problem. As a last resort we were considering calling an Extraordinary General Meeting to resolve the problem (see below).

Draft of the EGM notice that was prepared by BESG.

Dr Geh Min was then the President. She had a hard time with the BG, but being a no-nonsense President, she managed to overcome BG’s resistance. BESG was finally accepted as another activity group on 27th September 2005 under Article 10.4.5 of the society’s constitution HEREBESG immediately set up its website HERE to document aspects of bird behaviour. After about 17 years of activities and posting nearly 6,000 articles of bird behaviour that include the flora and fauna associated with birds, the website attracted nearly 44 million visits by people from all over the world. 

Article in BESG website that mentioned “Bird Group was no more Top Dog” now that BESG was also running “bird” activities”.

Police Report

BG got its revenge six years later. This was when BESG claimed that BG was no more top dog now that BESG was in competition with BG (see above). Dr Ho Hua Chew took the opportunity to persuade Muslim convert Lim Kim Seng to make a police report HERE against me for insulting Muslim members of his group by using the words “top dog”. This, he claimed, was because dog is haram to Muslims. This strategy of course failed when the police scoffed at the complaint.

Unfortunately, the police report was made when Dr Shawn Lum was President. When I approached him to intervene, I was told bluntly that he would not get involved. His reason was that as an American citizen from Hawaii, he had no knowledge of dogs being haram to Muslims HERE. I suppose he had to be on good terms with the BG as without the group’s support he may not last being President for 15 years and counting. When Shawn was elected President of the Nature Society (Singapore) in 2008, he claimed that in any internal disputes, he would “hear out all sides and hopes to come up with solutions that everyone can agree on” (see below for the entire interview followed by excerpt highlighting how he would deal with internal politics).

Dr. Shawn Lum’s interview with The Straits Times of 30th August 2008 when he was first elected President of Nature Society (Singapore).

Excerpt from The Straits Times interview above, highlighting Dr. Shawn Lum’s views on internal politics.

At a subsequent Executive Council meeting, he left it to Tony O’Dempsey, another Muslim convert, to confront Hua Chew for using Tony’s religion for such a despicable act, so much so that Hua Chew apologised to Tony. Shawn Lum, cleverly let Tony, a council member, deal with Hua Chew, rather he himself as President, deals with the matter..

 

Top portion of an unsigned one-page Nature Society (Singapore).

An unsigned one-page document (above)

Sophie Chew’s 2021 article in the Rice Media: Before There Was Dover Road Forest, There Was the Lower Peirce Gold Course Saga of 1922 HERE led me to a one-page “document” HERE by the Nature Society (Singapore) dated 5th September 2017, headlined “Nature Society (Singapore), NSS’s Response to Internet Comments on the Projects of its Conservation Committee: A Review of its Facts.” There was no signature on the so-called document but from the contents it is obviously written by Dr Ho Hua Chew, Chairman of the Conservation Committee.

This document claimed the contents had the “endorsements” of the President (Dr Shawn Lum), two past Presidents (Dr Geh Min and Prof Ng Soon Chye) and the then Chairman of the Conservation Committee (Leong Kwok Peng) and Vice-Chairman (Dr Ho Hua Chew).

As the document carries no signatures of those who were supposed to have endorsed it, I suspect that Dr Shawn Lum, Dr Geh Min and Prof Ng Soon Chye were taken for a ride by Ho Hua Chew. Their names were obviously used without their permission. As such, I wrote to Shawn on 21st May 2021, asking specifically whether he knew of the existence of the document that claimed his personal endorsement. As I received no response, I wrote another letter saying that unless he replied, I would personally write the Dr Geh Min and Prof. Lim Soon Chye to confirm their endorsements. This did the trick and I got Shawn’s reply. He confirmed that he did not draft the document and added that he had no knowledge of the comments on the proposal to build a golf course at Lower Peirce Reservoir. He added that he was a member of the society at that period but had no knowledge of the details. This confirm that Hua Chew included his name as endorsing the document without Shawn’s knowledge. I concluded that Dr Geh Min’s and Prof Ng Soon Chye’s names were similarly used without their knowledge. This must be the reason why Hua Chew did not sign off the document. After all, these two ex-Presidents were not around then and could not endorse the documents’ contents. Knowing Shawn, I am sure he would not confront Hua Chew about this despicable act and let the matter rests – such is Shawn’s leadership style.

Banner of Singapore Bird Project to announce the formation of a new group set up by the expelled young ornithologists who had volunteered with the Bird Group.

Expelling of 4 young ornithologists

Early this year, Bird Group expelled four young and talented ornithologists that had been volunteering with the group for some time. No reasons were given to them as to why they were expelled. Secretary Morten Strange and President Shawn Lum arranged a meeting with the Bird Group leaders to find out the reasons why they were expelled. The BG leaders failed to appear at the meeting and subsequently refused to respond to the society’s e-mails and phone calls. The Society’s Constitution allows for disciplinary action to be taken but as usual, nothing was done. My guess was that the expelled volunteers were outshining the aging, non-savvy IT leaders in their output. Such behaviour had been going on ever since I joined the society in 1960. And BG had always been the cause of internal politicking.

Conclusion

By not renewing my Nature Society membership after 62 years of active involvement is my lone protest against a “lingering” President who earlier failed to provide support when I needed it most (re Police report against me by the Muslim convert Lim Kim Seng of the BG) – a President who publicly pledged to deal with internal politicking when he was first elected President 15 years ago. He also pledged to increase membership, which he failed miserably. Membership has in fact declined. If Shawn is unable to fulfill his two main aims after 15 years as President of NSS, allowing him to lead the society for another 15 years would not see any success.

 

YC Wee

Singapore

30th October 2022

 

Grey-crowned Crane Balearica regulorum

posted in: bird, Grey crowned crane | 0

The Grey crowned crane Balearica regulorum belongs to the crane family, Gruidae. This  native of Eastern and Southern Africa is an endangered species. A lone bird, believed to be male, has taken up residency at  Seletar Aerospace Crescent, Singapore.  This ‘happy, dancing’ bird is probably an escaped or released bird from a pet farm. Its partner died sometime ago and its lonely calls are unanswered.  It feeds on seeds, insects, worms, frogs, small fish and snakes. Refer to the references section for You-tube videos of this bird taken by different birders.

Johnny Wee shares beautiful images of this lonely bird he captured over a period of time.

Image 1: Head shot shows an attractive crown of golden stiff feathers. 7 March 2022.
Image 2: The lone Grey crowned crane in flight. 7 March 2022.
Image 3: The Grey crowned crane with wings on the down-stroke during flight. 5 January 2022.
Image 4: On the down-stroke, slots between primary feathers at outer section of wings help to reduce drag and vortices at wingtips. 5 January 2022.
Image 5: A close-up shot of the crown feathers shows subtle patterns formed by the feathers. 18 November 2021.

These birds form permanent bond pairs and share parental duties.  They have a life-span of 22 years.

Photographs © Johnny Wee.

Texts and captions by Teo Lee Wei.

References:

  1. You-tube video of the crane foraging and calling https://youtu.be/Y_CmnWEkHZM
  2. You-tube video showing the crane dancing on a taxi https://youtu.be/i__I6GqaEkA

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Dogs eating charcoal

posted in: Miscellaneous | 0

An earlier post reports on dogs eating grass HERE. According to the dog handler, that particular dog has also been seen eating charcoal, especially those used in growing orchids.

So, I looked for a piece of charcoal, broke it into pieces and waited for a dog to pass by. Two dogs and their handlers arrived in front of my house. The earlier dog of no particular breed was not interested in my plate of charcoal. The other dog, a golden retriever, rushed to the plate and started eating the charcoal pieces. I could literally hear the crunching as the dog munched on the pieces.

A search on the internet revealed that this dog that ate the charcoal may have a pica problem HERE. Such dogs regularly eat non-food such as pieces of rocks, toys, grass and twigs. However, consuming such items can cause blockage of the digestive track. Signs of blockages include vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, drooling and lethargy.

Dogs may eat charcoal because of an upset stomach, especially if they have earlier ingested toxic substances. After all, scientists have learned that monkeys on the African island of Zanzibar ingest charcoal to counter the bad effects after eating toxic substances HERE. And activated charcoal are used in the emergency treatment of certain kinds of poisoning HERE.

YC Wee

Singapore

26.10.22

2023 Bird Calendar

posted in: Bird calendar | 0

Dr Amar Singh has produced a beautiful bird calendar for use in 2023. Each page features a calendar month adorned with birds from the same group. Please download and print the calendar to brighten up your desk.

 

For those who enjoy birds, please find attached a pdf copy of a bird calendar for 2023 (A4 size, printable). It showcases some of the fascinating birds that we have in Malaysia.
It is produced specially for the non-bird watcher to make them aware of the rich wonder all around us. And to ask all of us to work together to preserve our green lungs, our forests and other habitats, to allow birds to flourish in our country. May it bring you some joy.

Link to download the bird calendar https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MZ_IElUpSDW8asfdPUZCWGOz8FPQlAli/view?usp=sharing

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS,

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.

21 October 2022.

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Dogs eating grass

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Someone was walking her dog along the walking path by the road when the dog suddenly moved to the narrow grassy patch nearby. It then ate a few young leaves of lalang grass (Imperata cylindrica). This is a common aggressive weed of open ground. The leaf blades are relative hardy, slightly thorny along the edges and grow straight up to about 30cm high. I have previously seen cats eat grass but not dogs before.

The common belief is that they self-medicate when they are not feeling well. Or that they eat grass to sooth an upset stomach, especially when they vomit soon after eating grass. But then few dogs actually vomit after or even show signs of illness before eating grass. It has also been speculated that maybe they lack certain nutrients like vitamins and minerals or even fibres in their normal diet? Or maybe they eat grass to relieve boredom?

A patch of lalang grass.

 

YC Wee

18th October 2022

Crows steal rat stashed on tree branch

BICA members had a whale of a time photographing the Black-winged Kites at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore in early October 2022. A pair of Elanus scriptus were very active and successful hunting rodents in the area. They also displayed aerial transfer of food, much to the delight of the admiring crowd. The photo gallery below shows some excellent photographs captured on different days.

Image 1: Mid-air food transfer between Black-winged Kites. 8 October 2022. Photograph attribute to S.B. Lim
Image 2: A Black-winged Kite perched on a high branch and scanning the distance for prey. 10 October 2022. Photograph attribute to Jeremiah Loei.
Image 3: Two Black-winged Kites take off in flight. 9 October 2022. Photograph attribute Sangmen Wong.
Image 4: A Black-winged Kite making a sharp turn during flight while in pursuit of prey. 8 October 2022. Photograph attribute Sangmen Wong.
Image 5: A Black-winged Kite with a rat prey in the grasp of its claws. 5 October 2022. Photograph attribute Michael Kwee.
Image 6: Underside view of a Black-winged Kite with shrew prey. October 2022. Photograph attribute Gordon Koh.

Video by Jeremiah Loei showing House crows (Corvus splendens) stealing a rat prey that had been attached to the tree by the hunting Black-winged Kites (Elanus scriptus). Long-tailed Shrikes are known for impaling their prey to thorns https://besgroup.org/2010/01/11/long-tailed-shrike-impales-lizard/  ,however these Black-winged Kites have been observed to do the same.

View this clip by Jeremiah Loei that shows a Black-winged Kite hovering in the air and then finally diving down for the kill.

https://youtube.com/shorts/7J4W2wGvOdE

 

This post is a cooperative effort between http://Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia (Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia) and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behaviour through photography and videography to a wider audience.

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Special snail post

posted in: Mollusc | 0

For some years now Wong Kais has been discovering Achatina fulica, the African Land Snail chomping on his letters in the letter box. Some letters were partially eaten within a few hours of being dropped into the letter box while letters left for a few days have been chewed up at very strategic locations.  Luckily for him most of the illegible letters are merely advertisements for house services.

He picks off snails from inside the letter box and on the concrete pillar of the letter box every few days.  Occasionally he finds up to 3 snails of different sizes indulging communally on a letter gourmet.  Every so often he cleans up their poo strings in the letter box.

Wong Kais is diligent in picking off snails in the garden: on banana tree trunks,  crawling on the grass, hiding on the sides of flower pots which are in the cool shady areas and those sleeping amongst the chives. He has placed crushed egg shells in the vegetable bed to deter the hungry molluscs from eating the few stalks of vegetables he grows. He heard that water melon rinds can be used as snail baits but the rinds were found clean and uneaten in the letter box. He wonders if the snails have genetic memory of the nutritional goodness found in printed matter and envelopes.

Thoughts of eating up the molluscs to solve this icky problem has flickered in his mind but his wife is not eager to touch them.  His counter-point that the much prized abalones so ubiquitous during Chinese New Year is also a snail (marine snail, Family Haliotidae) has not convinced her to experiment on the idea. Read the links quoted in the references list for her rebuttal. After all, the gong gong snail (pearl conch snail, Strombus turturella) so popular with Singaporeans has never featured on his dining table.

Readers who decide to dine on this common snail are welcomed to share their culinary highlights in our comments section.  Just a gentle reminder: the snails carry parasites. Read this link about schistosomiasis/bilharzia caused by parasitic worms which use a fresh water snail as one of its vector hosts and this excellent educational video link about the parasitic worm that infects land snails.

Image 1: A snail eating the corners of an envelope.
Image 2: A close-up view of the  African Land Snail chomping away at a letter envelope. Parts of the letter has been chewed away. This snail feeds and poos simultaneously.
Image 3: The snail now moves on to chomp the neat edge of the envelope.
Image 4: The remains of a flyer next to an envelope that has been chewed at the corner.
Image 5: A partially eaten letter.
Image 6: A letter with a hole and jagged edges caused by hungry snails.
Image 7: An official receipt decorated with holes and chewed up edges. Parts of the receipt covered for privacy reasons.

All photographs © Wong Kais.

Article authored by Teo Lee Wei.

References:

  1. https://guide.michelin.com/sg/en/article/dining-in/ingredient-snails
  2. https://tendergardener.com/how-to-get-rid-of-slugs-and-snails/
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2018/11/05/young-rugby-player-ate-slug-mates-dare-now-hes-dead/
  4. https://besgroup.org/2014/01/11/giant-african-snails-mating/

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Gold-ringed Cat Snake eating an Oriental Tree Snake

posted in: Feeding, regurgitate prey, Snake | 0

Christoper Tan came across a Gold-ringed Cat Snake (Boiga dendrophila) and an Oriental Tree Snake a.k.a Oriental Whip Snake (Ahaetulla prasina) at the playground near Rail Mall.  The Boiga had the Ahaetulla clamped in its mouth. The predator had probably  paralysed the prey with venom.

Image 1: The Gold-ringed Cat Snake was on a tree branch with the Oriental Tree snake dangling limply from its mouth. Playground near Rail Mall, Singapore. 23 September 2022.
Image 2: The Boiga had coiled itself along a few strategic places on the tree branch.
Image 3: The Ahaetulla was eventually regurgitated and left hanging on the tree branch. The prey was probably too long for the Boiga to swallow.

View this Youtube shorts by Christoper Tan. https://youtube.com/shorts/fhXCDvlegng

Image 4:  Flies visited the snake carcass. Christoper Tan informed NParks and the carcass was removed promptly.

All photography and video by Christoper Tan.

Texts and captions by Teo Lee Wei.

 

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behaviour through photography and videography to a wider audience.

 

Note to readers: If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page.

Orange-cheeked waxbill

posted in: bird | 0

Johnny Wee shares two photos of the Orange-cheeked waxbill Estrilda melpoda that he encountered at Bishan Park, Singapore in August 2022.

Read https://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/app/uploads/2017/04/sbr2016-133-134.pdf about these finches which were seen in Bishan Park in 2016 and thought to have been released from captivity.

Photo 1: The waxbill clings to an upright leaf stalk(?) and has picked up a food item in its beak (caterpillar or plant part?)
Photo 2: The waxbill flying above a water plantain leaf.

 

Photographs © Johnny Wee.

Texts and captions by Teo Lee Wei.

 

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White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) in MCKL, Brickfields, KL and Gamuda Gardens, Northern Klang Valley

posted in: bird, White-throated Kingfisher | 0
The white-throated kingfisher, Halcyon smyrnensis, is sometimes spotted flitting in and out of trees surrounding the MCKL field. After several laughable attempts to photograph it, which include my camera running out of battery after finally getting it in focus (twice!), the stars have finally aligned recently. Ironically enough, since getting the photographs, I can see it almost every day now. Maybe now it is just a matter of knowing where to look?
Despite its name, H. smyrnensis does have other nourishment other than fish, which includes earthworms, centipedes and other terrestrial invertebrates. After making a catch, it bashes the poor prey a few times to immobilize it before gulping it down.
Fig. 1-4 shows H. smyrnensis perched on MCKL’s bird hot spot, the goal post in the field. It was spotting for worms on the field.
Figure 1.
Figure 2.
Figure 3.
Figure 4.
Fig. 5-6 shows H. smyrnensis on a higher, natural perch (the raintree) where it was observed to engage in its prey-bashing maneuver.
Figure 5.
Figure 6.
Fig. 7-10 shows H. smyrnensis at Gamuda Gardens, northern Klang Valley. It seemed to enjoy the view before being chased away by the recent arrival, the brown shrike!
Figure 7.
Figure 8.
Figure 9.
Figure 10.
All photos taken with Nikon P530 by Ng Di Lin.
25 September 2022.
Ng Di Lin

Lecturer, American Degree Transfer Program

Methodist College Kuala Lumpur

Off Jalan Tun Sambanthan 4, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur.

Read these posts about the White-throated Kingfishers:

https://besgroup.org/2021/12/06/white-throated-kingfisher-bathing/

26 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: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151125012234135&set=a.108191464134.96538.617499134&type=1&theater

  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…
    thanks.

  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?
    Thanks.

  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!

    Thanks,
    Martin

  21. Wee Ming

    Hello Besgroup,

    Trust this email finds you well. We chance upon your photograph on your website and found the amazing image of the Laced Woodpecker and durians. We would like to explore the possibility of getting permission to use them for a new Bird Park in Singapore.

    Spacelogic is a company based in Singapore and we have been contracted by Mandai Park Development to carry out design and build works relating to the exhibition interpretive displays in this new Bird Park.

    Some background of the new Mandai Bird Park project; it will build upon the legacy of the Jurong Bird Park – https://www.wrs.com.sg/en/jurong-bird-park.html by retaining and building upon a world-reference bird collection and creating a place of colour and joy for all visitors. The new Bird Park will have a world-reference ornithological collection displayed in a highly immersive way with large walk-through habitats. To enhance visitors’ experience with storyline and narrative of the bird park, transition spaces are added to display exhibits that provide a varied type of fun, intuitive, interactive and educational experiences for all visitors. One of the habitats features the Laced Woodpecker on a flora panel It is in this flora panel that we are seeking your permission to feature the Laced Woodpecker. We are looking to use the first image on the link here.
    Link can be found here: https://besgroup.org/2012/06/28/laced-woodpecker-and-durians/

    We would like to ask if this is something that we can explore further and if yes, how can we go about with putting through a formal permission request. Thank you so much for considering our request and we look forward to hearing from you.

    Warmest Regards,
    Wee Ming
    SPACElogic Pte Ltd

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