Phasmid Necroscia confusa (stick insect) mating

posted in: Videography | 0

Phasmids are nocturnal insects which have incomplete metamorphosis and moult a few times in their life time.  The insects are plant feeders. They have poor eyesight and hearing and males detect the presence of receptive females through pheromones released by the females.  Some species of phasmids exhibit parthenogenesis, the process of producing clones without the presence of the opposite sex.

During mating, a male passes a spermatophore (sperm ampulla) to the ovipore of the female with the help of a paired organ called the aedeagus. The structure is akin to a phallus cum clasp. The female stores the spermatophore in a chamber inside her body known as the spermatheca. The spermatozoa stored in her spermatheca are released over a period of time to fertilize her eggs.

The eggs are variable in shape, size and surface ornaments.  Eggs can be dropped to the ground, glued to bark/leaves/ground/holes in trees or even pierced through leaves.

Francis Seow-Choen shared with BESGroup a video of a pair of mating Necroscia confusa. The smaller-sized male has its lower abdomen curved towards the ovipore of the larger-sized female.

Necroscia confusa mating. The male is smaller in size than the female. Note the abdomen of the male has curled downwards towards the female’s reproductive opening.

 

References:

  1. A taxonomic guide to the Stick Insects of Sumatra Vol II © 2020 Francis Seow-Choen
  2. A taxonomic guide to the Stick Insects of Sumatra Vol III © 2019 Francis Seow-Choen
  3. 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
  4. https://www.keepinginsects.com/introduction/why-keep-bug

Ruby-cheeked Sunbird – juvenile males

posted in: birds, Morphology-Develop., Sunbirds | 0

I have seen Ruby-cheeked Sunbirds (Chalcoparia singalensis interposita) with juveniles in September and December 2018 at the same site; unsure if they are the same pair breeding. Images of the juvenile males. The first adult male feature to develop is metallic plumage at the scapula or marginal coverts (above, 26th September 2018). Then metallic plumage at the neck and forehead (below, 3rd December 2018).

 

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

 

Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Trail along primary jungle

Equipment

Asian Brown Flycatcher – conflict behaviour

posted in: birds, Intraspecific, Vocalisation | 0

I saw three of these migrant Asian Brown Flycatchers (Muscicapa dauurica dauurica) in conflict in the early morning. I first heard the birds making loud calls; sonogram and waveform (above) and a recording of the calls is located here: https://www.xeno-canto.org/505369

They were located 3-5 meters apart on high trees. Intermittently one would chase the other off the perch. They exhibited aggressive physical conflict with beaking (above, below). Images were difficult as the flight conflict was erratic. The conflict I observed lasted from 7.30-7.50am and continued even after I moved on. Wells (2007) notes that “freshly arrived stagers and winterers interact aggressively, with much chasing and vocalising until they settle into exclusive spaces ..”.

 

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

 

Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Secondary growth at fringe of city

Date: 30th October 2019

Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld

 

 

Grey Heron – Gular fluttering

I have often observed egrets and herons with a gular flutter when the weather is hot (like today). Gular fluttering is used as a means to regulate temperature. In gular fluttering, bird will often open the beak and fluttering the upper throat muscles (moist gular region). The activity is rapid and does not involve large movements of the thorax (like when we pant) – an energy efficient cooling mechanism by evaporation.

Image shows close-up of the gular flutter posture in Grey Heron.

Gordon L. Maclean 2013 (Ecophysiology of Desert Birds. Springer Science & Business Media) mentions that the respiratory rate when panting may rise to 200 movements/minute but gular flutter may occur at excess of 400-600 movements/minute. When gular flutter is independent of the rate of respiratory movements, then it can occur in excess of 900 times/minute.

I counted the gular flutter in this Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea jouyi) and it occurred at 10-12 times per second (mode 11, mean 11.3) which means it occurs at 600-720 times per minute.

A short video clip is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ8yIjAo3LM

 

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

 

Location: Outskirts of Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Wetlands, ex-mining pools

Date: 15th January 2019

Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld

 

 

 

 

Java Sparrow – roosting site

posted in: birds, Roosting | 0

A few months ago my wife and I identified an urban night roosting site for Java Sparrows (Lonchura oryzivora). I have visited the site a few times and the birds use the site daily. There are about 300-400 Java Sparrows using two trees adjacent to a busy urban road. This site is some distance from limestone hills that are the usual habitat and nesting site for these birds. These birds are known to congregate socially in large flocks. I have visited the site between 6.30-7.30am and the birds are usually already twitting away loudly. They usually start leaving, in dribs and drabs, by 6.50am. An edited recording of the ‘loud din’ they make is available here: https://www.xeno-canto.org/467129

It is hard to clean up the recording and remove background traffic noise as the birds call out constantly. There is an occasional Asian Glossy Starling in the mix. A sonogram and waveform are shown above. Images are poor as it is still dark at that time.

 

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

 

Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Urban environment

Date: 11th April 2019

Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone

 

 

Banded Kingfisher – male, calls

posted in: birds, Kingfishers, Vocalisation | 0

Saw a single male Banded Kingfisher (Lacedo pulchella pulchella) at this location in dense primary forest and heard the advertising calls a number of times. The call is described as “chi-wiu” in a variety of literature. I may have missed recording the start of the calls which is said to be a whistle.

The call comprises two distinct notes (see sonogram and waveform above). The call duration is 0.6-0.7 seconds and is repeated every 0.4-0.5 seconds. It starts loud and gradually fads away. In this recording the male made 12 calls (said to be usually 15; Wells 1999, HBW 2019). An edited recording, with some noise reduction to lessen loud insect hum of the jungle, is here: https://www.xeno-canto.org/456754

 

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

 

Location: Taiping, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Primary jungle at foothills

Date: 14th February 2019

Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone

 

Dollarbird bathing in the rain and other observations

Dollarbird

Eurystomus orientalis

 

Video 1  Bathing in the rain

Video 2  Just after bathing in the rain.

Photo 1 Dollarbird taken on 17 September 2019
Baker St., Seletar,
Singapore
Photo 2 black bird with big head and orange beak. Taken in Serangoon Gardens. 6 Sept 2015 

The Dollarbird belongs to the Family Coraciidae (Rollers).This Family has two genera, Coracias (known as the “true rollers”) with eight species and Eurystomus (known as the “Broad-bill rollers”) with four species. They are called “Rollers” because one of their attack modes involves a high speed dive at its target. As it dives, it rotates its body and flail the wings to the left, then to the right, along the longitudinal axis of its body, through perhaps 270o, several times per second, while keeping the head steady. The ground target not only sees this furiously rotating bird-ball hurtling towards him but hears the bird-ball screaming and shrieking at the top of its raucous voice, missing him by a hair’s breath. This makes for a very frightening experience. The Roller bird then levels off and begins climbing to a high attitude to repeat the unique “Rolling” attack again. It does this several times. This aggressive act is thought to be for laying claims to its territory and protection of its nest.

Sadly, our Dollarbird has not been known to do the “Rolling” maneuver.  Birds of the genus Coracias, are known as the “true rollers”, since they perform the “rolling” maneuver.

From afar, the Dollarbird looks like a black colored bird with a white patch on its wing, similar in size and looks to the local Javan myna. The differences are the Dollarbird’s stocky body-build, disproportionally big head, shorter legs and its outstanding broad and bright reddish-orange beak. (See photos 1 and 2). Javan myna has narrow and yellow beak with longer legs and a more slender build.

Photo 3 blue throat, turquoise-green chest, belly and leading wing edges, white patch on wings
Photo 4 black eyes, bright orange beak and feet
Photo 5 black flight feathers (primaries and secondaries) and tail feathers.
Photo 6

Rollers are gorgeous, brightly colored birds. In good lighting, the black colored Dollarbird, 30cm in length, is transformed into a glossy blue-green bird with varying hues. The head and neck is blackish. It has dark brown eyes with orangey-red eyelid rims (not seen in our photos). The front of its throat displays a large patch of iridescent ultramarine blue with brilliant cobalt-blue needle-like streaks radiating downwards. Below the neck, it is a whole sea of iridescent light turquoise green covering the chest, down to the belly. The primary flight feathers are dark blue/black with a pale blue patch (the “dollar” sign), conspicuous on both surfaces. Covert feathers are greenish in color. In some photos the covert feathers are blue in color. The square tail is greenish-blue/black. Sexes are alike. There is no breeding plumage. Juvenile has similar colored plumage but is duller in tone. Their upper mandible is also blackish instead of orange in color. Feet are yellowish orange.

Its beak and legs are bright orange-scarlet. Like predatory birds, its upper mandible terminates in a sharp hook, thin and black. Its legs are considered weak because it only uses them for perching on a high tree branch. It seldom hops along the branches or walks on the ground.  It is an aerial forager.

Photo7    4 April 2019
Photo 8 Strong, slow powerful flap of long, raptor-like wings. White bluish patches, visible on both side of wings.   17.4.2019
Photo 9   18.8.2019

Its wing span is much wider than the other rollers (perch and wait predators) of the Coracias family. It usually sits bolt upright on a high exposed branch, scanning for flying insects over the open ground. Once detected, it sallies forth into the open air to catch the insect in flight. Its powerful pursuit and acrobatic aerial maneuvering in snapping up large flying insect, is a sight to behold. Its broad bill makes it easier to scoop up insects while flying. The short and deep bill makes it a powerful tool to crush the hard exoskeleton of insects like beetles. After crushing the insects, it swallows them whole (legs, wings, and exoskeleton).

Photo 10 caught a beetle 8 October 2019

The hard, chitinous exoskeletons of insects are ground up in the gizzard with the help of small stones, which it has previously swallowed. The remaining chitinous waste is not passed out through the cloaca but instead thrown out through the mouth (regurgitated) as pellets. In one study, it was observed that a roller can throw up to a dozen pellets a day. Each pellet measures 10-15mm wide and twice as long. It is estimated to represent the remains of 15-24 insects. Another study shows that when a roller found a swarming hatch of flying ants or termites, usually in the evenings, it will gorge itself. It can catch and swallow an insect every 6 to 10 seconds. After two hours of feeding frenzy, before night falls, it was found that the stomach of one roller contained 748 insects, 40% of its body weight.

Diet of rollers includes beetles, scarab beetle, crickets, grasshoppers, butterflies, moths, caterpillars, mantises, ants, termites, bees, shield-bugs and  wasps. Other eaten arthropods include spiders, scorpions, millipedes and centipedes. Lizards, frogs and small snakes have also been known to be eaten.

Its favorite habitat is the edge of forest or open clearing with some tall trees.

Bathing in the rain seems to be a favorite activity of the Dollarbird and other rollers.

Photo 11  Standard mating   6 Apr. 2018  Goldhill,  Novena area, Singapore

Courtship behavior usually involves a pair of rollers sitting close together on a branch. Allopreening, chattering and food provisioning  are often done before mating. Die, die must mate. Click Accident of mating. 

Vocalisations of the Dollarbirds are usually limited in repertoire and considered to be low pitch, hoarse, and rasping in nature, like a “skatch-skatch”. When in attack mode, a louder, more rapid four syllables expletive may be used, “kej-kej-kej-kej”. In announcing its territory, a loud, repetitive sound is employed, “jek-jek-jek…..jek-jek”. When talking to its mate, while perching on a branch, it usually uses a soft mono-syllable, “tchek” or “tcherk” maybe a short “yes” and “no”. However, on the occasion the male makes a half second burst of non-vocal stridulating sound, coinciding with rapid bill-chattering, it may be anticipating an approaching joyful event. I know, all these sounds boring, but luckily our pioneer contributors from BESGroup have painstakingly recorded their actual calls here. Enjoy.

1) Announcing territory call

2) Juvenile food-begging call

3) Parent looking-call for fledglings

4) Adult alarm call

5) Warning call

6) Adult communication

Nest is usually a hole high up in a tall tree. Dollarbirds do not excavate their own nest holes, hence they use the previous (sometimes new) nesting holes of woodpeckers, barbets, parrots, kookaburras, etc. Nests are mostly not furnished, usually lined with a pad of dried leaves on the bottom. Two to four white eggs are laid over a few days. Both parents take turns to incubate the eggs but only the female incubates at night. Eggs will hatch in 17-20 days. Chicks are born blind. By about 7 days, their eyes are open. At two weeks of age, they look like hedge-hogs because their naked skins have developed many long grey spines of unopened feather sheaths. Nestlings take about 25-30 days to fledge. The first nestling to leave the nest is taken care of by one parent while the other takes care of those remaining in the nest. After a few more days, all chicks will have left the nest. The nestling’s first five days after leaving nest is still heavily dependent on parent for food. After that they begin to look for their own food. Three weeks after fledging they are fully independent. They stay around their parents in a loose association for another three weeks before starting to wander off.

Looking for nesting holes and defending the nests are the main reasons Dollarbirds come into conflict with a other birds:

1) Myna bird

2) Asian Glossy Starling,  part 2

3) Long tail green parakeet

4) Hornbill

5) Kingfisher

In Singapore only one roller bird species is found, the Dollarbird. There is a local resident population. There are two migrations in the equatorial region. The Northern migrants from Russian, China and Japan fly as far south as the Malayan peninsula from October to March. There are also Southern migrants from Australia, flying north from April to August, mostly to New Guinea.

Malayan peninsula has a second roller, the Indian Roller, Coracias benghalensis.

Sulawesi, Indonesia has its own Purple-winged Roller, Coracias temminckii.

Azure Roller, Eurystomus azureus is only found in North Moluccas, islands to the east of Sulawesi. Status is Vulnerable. They are now rarely seen.

Article by Michael Wong

 

Photo credit: 1,7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. Courtesy of Mr. Johnny Wee of BICA.

Photo credit:  2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and videos 1 and  2 . Courtesy of Michael Wong. Taken in Serangoon Gardens, Singapore. 23 January 2018

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

A note of Thanks to all the pioneer contributors to BESGroup website whose beautiful posts have made this article possible.

References:

  1. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 6. pages 342 to 376.
  2. The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula by David R Wells. Vol. one.

Himalayan vulture (Gyps himalayensis)

posted in: birds | 0

Dr Pary Sivaraman documented a Himalayan vulture in Tras Street, Singapore. It is also known as the Himalayan griffon and is a large carrion feeder native to the Himalayan region and the Tibetan Plateau.  They are known to migrate altitudinally in their home ground within their breeding range. There was a lot of excitement in January 2020 as other birds were sighted in many other locations in Singapore. Zhang Weifang saw 2-3 of them flying past her home in Tanjong Pagar around 7-8th January 2020.  Read her comments on this article in our Facebook page.

According to David Wells,

  1. one exhausted bird was captured in South Terengganu, West Malaysia on 24 June 1979
  2. four sighted in SW Singapore on December 1989
  3. nine photographed in Bukit Timah forest reserve on 12-13 January 1992 (J Smith, Morten Strange)
  4. one exhausted bird captured off NW Johor on 20 January 1995
  5. read this accountLINK,  and this account.

There were more reported sightings of these birds in subsequent years.

Vultures are known to be used in traditional medicines and there is suspect that some of these birds may have been released.  Perhaps, there are other unknown factors responsible for their presence in tropical Singapore? Unprecedented storms in native home, small numbers of the birds strayed away from home ground due to pressures for food / nesting sites, diseases affecting their sensory systems?

Will we see the birds again in December 2021 – January 2022?

Below is Pary’s account of his encounter with the vulture.

Himalayan vulture. Tras street. 090120
Completely unfazed by house crows. Maximum of 14 of them came to harass it.

Himalayan vulture in Singapore Central Business District.

 

References:

  1. David Wells: The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula Vol one Non-passerines © 1999
  2. Wikipedia September 2021 LINK

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.

Banded Woodpecker – advertising call and posture

posted in: birds, Vocalisation | 0

The Banded Woodpecker (Chrysophlegma miniaceum malaccense) has a ‘classical’ advertising call. This is often heard in wooded neighbourhoods (mine in the past) or locations with some secondary growth. I often hear these advertising calls in the early mornings or late evenings. The bird will climb up a tree and then with the beak pointed skyward utter a loud scream; rendered “kwier” (Wells 1999) (above). This is repeated, in my experience/from recordings, 12-16 seconds later. Often a number of these screams are made, 5-7 times is not uncommon. In between the calls the bird adopts a listening posture (above), similar to the call posture.

Occasionally there is an answering call, often faint. It is unsure if the male is trying to connect with the mate or establishing territorial space. The sonogram of these brief 0.4-0.5 second calls (above) is highly unusual and complex. Notice the layers (ignore the horizontal lines which are background noise) – they suggest that there are a number of levels/frequencies at which the bird is communicating. I slowed down the calls to listen and it sounded like the deep calls of a whale. Birds definitely hear differently from us and more may be communicated than just a “scream”.

 

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

 

Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Semi-urban environment

Date: 13th February 2019

Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, handheld

 

 

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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