Greater Green Leafbird with prey

A Greater Green Leafbird (Chloropsis sonnerati zosterops) was seen with a large beetle prey.

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
21st February 2021

Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Primary forest
Equipment: Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone

Reddish colugo mother and her grey coloured baby (Galeopterus variegatus)

posted in: Mammals, mother and baby | 0

An article on 14 August 2021, had pictures showing a grey-coloured mother and her grey-coloured baby in close interactions. Subsequently on 22 August 2021, a video showed a reddish mother with a grey- coloured baby.

The feature photograph was taken by Dr Tan Ai Ling at Lower Peirce Reservoir Park, Singapore in January 2021. It shows a grey-coloured mother with a grey-coloured baby.

Genetics of colour inheritance between the various species and subspecies of colugos is not well understood. It is difficult to study the animals in the wild and they do not thrive well in captivity.

Photo credit: Dr Tan Ai Ling. The picture shows a grey-coloured mother with a grey-coloured baby.


The video below, taken at Lower Peirce Reservoir Park, Singapore shows a reddish mother and her grey-coloured baby.

Video courtesy of Dr Francis Seow-Choen.


Posted by Wong Kais.


BESGroup gratefully thank

Dr Francis Seow-Choen

Honorary Research Associate, Sabah Forestry Department, Sabah, Malaysia

Honorary Research Affiliate, Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, Singapore

Honorary Research Associate, National Biodiversity Centre, National Parks Board, Singapore


Dr Tan Ai Ling

NOTE: Names of contributors are listed in alphabetical order and not in order of importance.

Zebra Dove – sexing

posted in: birds, Sex | 0

Sexing of Zebra Doves (Geopelia striata) is best identified by courtship behaviour with male bowing and displaying. When not mating physical sex differences are subtle and not necessarily consistent. Calls between sexes also do not appear to be different. 

Gibbs, Barnes and Cox (2001) suggest that in females the barring in the breast is more extensive (extends further onto the breast) and the pinkish centre to breast more restricted in extent. 

Having observed this pair of mating I was sure of the sex. The composite image (identical post image processing) shows the male on the left and female on the right. The differences are subtle. 

Gibbs, D., Barnes, E. and Cox, J. (2001). Pigeons and doves: a guide to the pigeons and doves of the world. Pica Press, Robertsbridge.

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
21st May 2020

Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Urban environment
Equipment: Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S 105mm f/2.8G VR IF-ED 

Changeable Hawk-Eagle (Nisaetus cirrhatus) bitten by Paradise Tree Snake (Chrysopelea paradisi) in a life and death duel

The changeable hawk-eagle (Nisaetus cirrhatus formerly Spizaetus cirrhatus) is also known as Indian crested hawk-eagle. There are varying colour forms in different regions of the world.  Some forms are crested and yet others are not crested. The taxonomy is still in flux as genetic studies have not been able to elucidate the relationship between many of the species. There are also differences in size in different regions. The diet comprises other birds, reptiles and small mammals.

The paradise tree snake (Chrysopelea paradisi) is also known as the paradise flying snake as the snake is able to glide in the trees. The snake can grow up to 1 m in length. Its venomous fangs are located at the back of its mouth. It is arboreal and hunts in the day.  Small vertebrates make up most of its diet.

Ghim Pin Tan was at Pasir Ris Park on 11 September 2021 and documented a crestless, dark morph dueling a paradise tree snake. The snake aimed for the bird’s head near the eye and thus escaped the bird’s great talons. Snake got to live another day.

Changeable Hawk Eagle attacked by Paradise Tree Snake.  Photo courtesy of Tan Ghim Pin


Eagle’s right leg released its hold on the snake. Photo courtesy of Tan Ghim Pin


Snake slithered away to live another day. Photo courtesy of Tan Ghim Pin


Shahrul Kamal observed a changeable hawk-eagle way back in June 2021.  Read Shahrul’s account of the bird’s activities that day.

Today I had the chance to shoot the CHE in good light after a 3 week wait. It perched near the shelter at Car Park B for approximately 15-25 mins and gave up after crows started to harass the poor CHE who is trying to have some rest.

It was ‘harassed’ by a fly (mynah dont quite bother) until it flew towards the pond with the crows in hot pursuit!

CHE must apply for freehold license at Pasir Ris Park tree of its choice. Crows or hornbills got no say.

13 June 2021, around 11:35 am.

*My great thanks to bro Yap Desmond who saw it flying across the Sungai fire fire** (Api Api River in Pasir Ris Park)


Fly buzzing around the eagle


A different perspective of the eagle.



  1. A guide to The Amphibians and Reptiles of Singapore by Kelvin KP Lim and Francis LK Lim (published by Science Centre 1992)
  2. Biodiversity of Singapore: An encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development © 2011

Edited by: Peter KL Ng, Richard T. Corlett and Hugh T. W. Tan

Posted by K~LW

 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.


Yellow-breasted Warbler nesting

posted in: Nesting | 0

I spotted a pair of Yellow-breasted Warblers (Seicercus montis davisoni) nesting in the montane forest at Cameron Highlands in Pahang, Malaysia.

I did not approach the nest or attempt to look at it. I stayed about 5-6 meters away. I was watching birds along a road and this pair was actively feeding young and generally comfortable with my presence; entering and exiting the nest while I was nearby.

The nest was located 2.5-3 meters on the slope/bank under the roots of over-hanging trees and bushes; the nest itself was not visible (see composite image above).

Both partners were actively bringing prey. They collected prey from 5-10 meters around the nest site and items I could identify were caterpillars, spiders and Crane Flies (Tipulidae) – see above. Much of the prey was gleaned from the under surface of leaves and ferns. After having observed numerous episodes, on this occasion and previous visits, I am now convinced that fluttering to obtain prey under foliage is a major hunting technique. They have very high-pitched calls but my recordings were poor (and old age hearing loss failed me).

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
4th March 2019

Location: 1,700m ASL, Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia
Habitat: Primary montane forest
Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone

Yellow-breasted Warbler

posted in: birds | 0

According to Wikipedia, the Yellow-breasted Warbler (Seicercus montis davisoni) is found in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. It’s natural habitats are tropical and subtropical moist lowland and montane forests. Currently this species has a wide range and a steady population size. As such it is not a threatened species.

The images shown here were photographed by well-known Malaysian birder Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS in March 2019. He was then bird-watching at 1,700m ASL inside the pristine montane forest in Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia.

His usual equipment when out in the field comprises a Nikon D500 SLR with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone.

Oriental Honey-buzzard – an uncommon tweeddale morph

posted in: Morphology-Develop., Raptors | 0

An Oriental Honey Buzzard (Indomayalan) Pernis ptilorhynchus torquatus appeared in our neighbourhood very early this morning. The sun had not risen above the hills and it was still a bit dark. Very blustery morning and the crest was being blown.

It sat preening for ~15 minutes on an electrical pole and allowed the neighbours (doing their morning walk) to take hand phone camera images. From the tail pattern this is an adult male.

This is the uncommon tweeddale morph resembling a Blyth’s Hawk Eagle plumage with a prominent crest (avian mimicry). Both males and females in this morph have yellow-orange eyes and dark heads. The P. p. torquatus are resident in Peninsular Malaysia.

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
20th February 2021

Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Urban environment
Equipment: Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone

Green-backed Flycatcher feeding on fruits of Blue Mahang

posted in: Feeding-plants | 0

I had an opportunity to watch a male Green-backed Flycatcher (Ficedula elisae) foraging today. It was feeding on the fruits of the Blue Mahang or Macaranga heynei (formerly known as M. javanica), a common fruit source for migratory flycatchers but not noted in literature.

These fruits are taken mainly by fly-by snatches. At one point it appeared curious about me and flew in very close to have a look (no call playback used) – see below.

I had the impression, in some views (see above) that the throat was richer than the breast and wonder if this is part of some subtle breeding change? The composite below also shows the yellow rump seen in males.

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
15th February 2021

Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Fringe of primary forest
Equipment: Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone

Dark-necked Tailorbird (Orthotomus atrogularis atrogularis)

posted in: Morphology-Develop. | 0

It was interesting to note that this forest location has 3 different species of Tailorbirds – the Dark-necked, Ashy and Rufous-tailed.

Some views of an adult male Dark-necked Tailorbird, possibly in breeding plumage in view of the extensive dark neck. Was foraging for insect and invertebrate prey and possibly nesting from the behaviour. 


Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
1st March 2021

Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Broken primary forest with secondary growth
Equipment: Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone

Terek sandpiper (Xenus cinereus)

posted in: birds, Feeding strategy, Habitat | 0
  • Terek sandpiper (Xenus cinereus) is a migrant species from Russia. It winters in the warmer South, as far as Australia.  This wader feeds on sand worms (marine polychaetes), crabs and insects. They are usually found in mixed groups of waders.

Johnny Wee was at Pasir Ris Beach, Singapore in September 2021 and documented some of the bird’s feeding activities. Sim Chip Chye was also at Pasir Ris Beach and documented a bird pulling out a really long sand worm. Sim also gave an account which is reproduced below his picture of the bird.

Terek sandpiper on its wings. Photo copright Johnny Wee.


Foraging. Photo copyright Johnny Wee


Gotcha. A yummy sand worm. Photo copyright Johnny Wee


Mynah birds trying to rob Terek sandpiper of sand worm. Photo copyright Johnny Wee.


Terek sandpiper trying to outrun robbers. Photo by Johnny Wee


Terek sandpiper pulling a sandworm. A long juicy lunch. Photo courtesy of Sim Chip Chye


The weather wasn’t favourable this morning as it was drizzling quite heavily at some places.

I had planned to visit this site in the morning to record a lifer, a Terek Sandpiper that I have never seen prior and had to change the visit to the afternoon.

Having missed it yesterday, I was fortunate to be able to see it this afternoon as I was told that it is usually a “one-day bird”

This bird breeds around the northern Siberia in the taiga and a few choose to migrate south to the tropics with individual vagrant recorded every few years!

The bird is in a feeding frenzy and was observed to be moving about frantically in search for food. A flock of Mynahs were waiting for an easy meal when it took a Sand Worm and it was seen dashing about rather skilfully to avoid its prey being snatched. Another behaviour seen was that it would rinse the Sand Worm before eating it.

Recorded at the Beach of Pasir Ris Park on 2 September 2021 @ 1458 hrs


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. 

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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