How sunbirds harvest nectar from flowers

Sunbirds are among the most attractive birds around, especially the males. The females on the other hand are rather drab. The food of sunbirds is largely nectar, taken off a wide range of flowers, both native and exotic. In the case of exotic flowers, when the birds are not able to reach the extra long corolla tube, they tend to puncture the base of the corolla to obtain the nectar direct.

Most sunbirds have slender, curved bills whose tongues are long and just as slender, often projecting way out beyond the tip of the bill (see above). But have you ever wonder how these birds harvest the nectar from the flowers?

Well, the tongue of most sunbirds is a closed tube along the major part of its length. This tube is formed by the inward rolling of the edges to meet at the top, thus effectively giving the bird a straw with which to suck up the nectar. The tip of the tongue is usually split and bi-tubular.

Thus when the bird pokes its bill into the corolla tube of the flower and extends its tongue, the straw-like tip will automatically take up some of the nectar through capillary action.

YC Wee
Singapore
12th March 2006

Mistletoes 5: Germination of Macrosolen cochinchinensis

posted in: Plants | 4

A Macrosolen cochinchinensis seed, when deposited on to the branch of a host plant by a bird, germinates by growing a green stalk with a disc-like tip. This stalk elongates, arching back to send its disc-like tip fusing into the stem of the host plant to become the haustorium. When the haustorium is firmly attached, the seed is lifted off, the seed coat shrivels and drops off to reveal the first pair of leaves, the cotyledons! The shoot then elongates, giving rise to further pairs of leaves.


Note: This plant is a tropical mistletoe, a semi-parasite that grows on the branches of many wayside trees and ornamental plants. Please see our earlier postings on the plants, seeds and germination and accounts by a naturalist and a sometime bird watcher.

Text and images by Angie Ng

Ground foraging by a Malkoha

posted in: Feeding strategy | 0

On February 7th 2006, as we were conducting a recce trip at Sarimbun, Robert Teo, Robin and I came across a party of three Chestnut-bellied Malkohas (Phaenicophaeus sumatranus) in the secondary forest. The encounter was surprising enough as there are no prior records from this part of Singapore.

The Chestnut-bellied Malkoha is the last surviving species of malkoha in Singapore. The resident population is confined to the central nature reserves of Bukit Timah and the Central Catchment with the odd records from the fringe areas of Bukit Batok Nature Park, Bukit Tinggi and Upper Thomson Road. A record from Pulau Ubin by Robert Teo probably refers to a visitor from nearby Johor. In Malaysia, this species of malkoha resides in lowland rainforest, riverine forest, coastal forest and mangrove forest.

As there were three birds present at Sarimbun, it remains uncertain whether these birds are resident or merely visitors from the nearby coastal mangrove belt in Johor. The birds were fairly confiding, allowing close observation for 15 minutes or so, as they foraged in the middle and upper storeys of the trees around.

Suddenly, one bird flew down to the ground and was observed foraging on the ground, amongst the leaf litter. It made short hops as it searched for whatever was about without success. Soon, it hopped up to some low branches before flying up into the crown of the nearest tree. The malkoha is largely an insectivore and hunts for invertebrates among the branches of forest trees and bushes.

I do not recall seeing a malkoha (certainly not this species) foraging on the ground before, despite numerous encounters over the years, both here and in Malaysia. Has anyone witness this behaviour from a malkoha before?

Contributed by Subaraj Rajathurai.

This bird feeds mainly on locusts, mantids, stick insects, leaf insects, cicadas, crickets, grasshoppers, large hairy caterpillars and sometimes even frogs and lizards. It also eats fruits and seeds. The bird in the picture, courtesy of KC Tsang, has in its beak a katydid, a green long-horned grasshopper. YC

The noni tree

posted in: Plants | 2

I have a pair of slender-stemmed mengkudu (Morinda cirtifolia) growing by my gate along the driveway. The plant grows wild throughout Southeast Asia, having been introduced from Queensland, Australia a very long time ago. Now the Malay name is not as well known, replaced by the up-market name of noni. This is because some enterprising person decided that the fruits have all sorts of health-giving properties. And started marketing the juice as a health product.

The pair of 3-metres tall trees must have been brought there in the form of seeds by a bird. They are continuously flowering and fruiting profusely. The flowers are regularly visited by a variety of insects for their nectar. Flies and bees are always around. A few butterflies like the Palm Bob (Suastus gremius gremius) and Lemon Emigrant (Catopsilia pomona alcmeone) are regular visitors.

Daily one or more male Crimson Sunbirds (Aethopyga siparaja) visit the flowers for the nectar. I am sure there is also a female around but the male is so much prominent and attractive with his crimson colouration. They announce their presence by their high pitch chit, chit, chew sound they make. These smallish birds do not stay lon’ at one spot for a proper photographic shot but move rapidly from flower to flower all the time. And before you know it they have departed for another plant elsewhere.

Sunbirds also visit just after rain. They come and have a series of quick baths using the droplets that collect on the surface of the large leaves, see Bathing Sunbirds.

The ripe fruits litter the ground below. I have been told that in Hawaii, dogs love these fruits, growing fat on them. I am sure our local dogs eat them also, if given the opportunity. So far, I have seen two species of birds relish these rancid smelling fruits. Pairs of Javan Mynas (Acridotheres javanicus) will approach the ripe fruit lying on the ground, take a quick peck and retreat before coming again for another beak-full. Yellow-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus goiavier) similarly eat the fruits, but only when the mynas are not around.

On 24th December 2005 I was surprised to see a pair of these bulbuls making a ritual of eating the fruit. The pair was dancing around the fruit lying on the ground, tails flapping up and down and at regular intervals taking pecks from the fruit. It is interesting to note that these ripe fruits are never totally eaten, three quarters would always be left behind.

It would be interesting to receive feedback on what other birds go for these fruits.

Text and images by YC. Steven Chong assisted in identifying the butterflies.

Why do parrots use their left feet to handle food? 040306

posted in: uncategorised | 0

The Family Psittacidae incorporates the parrots, to which the parakeets also belong. These birds are characterized, in many cases, by their colourful plumage, prominent curved beak and short legs. They have zygodactylous feet in that of the four toes, digits 2 and 3 point forwards and digits 1 and 4 point backwards. Such a foot pattern is well suited for grasping branches and moving along the branch. Parrots thus move sideways in slow and deliberate steps, their feet often turning inwards, grasping the branch and moving along.

The antics of the Long-tailed Parakeets (Psittacula longicauda) eating rambutans (Nephelium lappaceum) (top), or attacking oil palm fruits (Elaeis guineensis) (bottom) at the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Visitors Centre, are amusing to watch. Their feet and beak are very manipulative. The fruit is first wrenched free from the bunch with the help of the bird’s beak. Standing on one foot, the fruit is transferred to the other foot, usually the left foot. The left foot is then raised while the beak is lowered so that they both meet half way. With the help of the powerful beak, the flesh of the rambutan or the oil-rich fibrous outer layer of the oil palm fruit is torn off.

This zygodactylous feet also enable the Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot (Loriculus galgulus) to hang upside down to reach otherwise inaccessible fruits or flowers. It detaches an item and perching on one foot, transfers it to the other foot, again usually the left, which is held up to the beak for ease of access. As in the case of the parakeet, the beak is lowered and the foot is raised to meet each other half way.

Now we return to the question of why parrots use their left feet to handle food. Frankly I have no idea! Do you?

Contribution and images by YC.

Forensic Birding 2: Bird scats

posted in: uncategorised | 1


After forensic birding was first introduced to local birders in December 2005, a workshop subsequently conducted by “sometime” field ornithologist Wang Luan Keng (above, right) exposed us to its practical side. In addition to feathers, skeleton parts, eggs, etc., we looked at bird scats that are found on the ground (this we usually ignore), on the car windscreen (this we notice) and sometimes on ourselves (this we try to avoid). So we take bird scats for granted until they land on us.

However, it is useful to know their characteristics and be able to identify them. After all, when we see the scats, the birds are usually not around anymore. But how many of us are able to do so? If we are interested to know the bird better, we should also make an effort to know its poo too.

What are the characteristics of the scat? What can we find in the mess on the ground or the car? The shape of the scat can be telling! Whether ants gather for a feast, indicating the presence of sweetish matters? Then there is the white uric acid that most birds excrete. Also the presence of seeds, giving a clue as to what the bird has been eating. Indeed, we can tell much about the bird by examining the scat.

Luan Keng hopes to collect information on these scats. She has asked me to watch birds, especially when they poo and send her images of the scats. But she has specifically asked not to be send the genuine stuff.

So the next time you come across a scat, make a record of it and try ID the mess. Then pass it around for an interesting discussion.

Images of Pink-necke$ Green Pigeon’s scat and workshop by YC.

Of termites and toads

posted in: Miscellaneous | 0

Reading Subaraj’s posting on Termite Hatch reminds me that only about a week ago I was trying to explain the same phenomenon to my three year old daughter when we were at the carpark opposite Downtown East at sunset. A flock of House Crows (Corvus splendens) and Javan Mynas (Acridotheres javanicus) was feasting on a termite hatch. A couple of bats also arrived when it got a little bit darker.

Managed to catch one of the 2 cm long termites to show my daughter as it flew past. When I showed it to her, the two pairs of long wings simply dropped off. All my daughter could manage was. “…what happen to the wings? Gone already!”

The sight of those termites sends shivers down my spine. Why? In 1992 I was posted to an old camp in Seletar. We were doing guard duty that night after a heavy downpour and the termites decided to have a nuptial flight.

Initially it was bearable. A few of them were simply fluttering about around the lights. But later, we got a taste of what the Egyptians might have endured in biblical times. The lights were almost blocked out by the hoards, we had to turn off the standing fan because the metal cage around it was almost stuck full of the termites and it was splattering chewed up termites at us. Looked as if someone took a bottle of mayonnaise and decided to decorate the floor around it.

Many of them quickly lost their wings and were all over us and everywhere else. It was actually raining termites. Then the toads appeared in numbers that I have never seen in my life. Almost one toad per square meter at the peak. They were all over the car park and they didn’t even have to try catching the termites. They would have been stuffed if they just fed on those termites that were crawling on their bodies.

By about 10 pm, the activity died down. Most of the termites found a quiet spot to congregate. A few toads were still having supper. But we still had to contend with termites getting into our clothes when we went to sleep.

The next morning, when the guards were sweeping up the floor, the heaps of wings that piled up were really a sight to behold. Normally it is the tiny leaflets of the rain tree (Samanea saman) that form the heaps. But not that day! We may not have cherry blossoms (Prunus sp.) here in Singapore, but when the wind blew, the swirling detached wings had a similar effect.

Up till today, whenever I see a termite swarm, it still sends the shivers down my spine and I think of those frantic 2 cm long termites running beneath our army uniforms.

Contributed by Jeremy Lee, image by YC.

Mistletoes 4: Observations of a sometime bird watcher

posted in: Plants, Sunbirds | 1

Nearly every evening in early January, from about 6.00 pm, a pair of male Olive-backed Sunbirds (Nectarinia jugularis) (top) would settle down on my neighbour’s bougainvillea bush and spend some free time preening. In between preening they would simply sit tight, stretch their wings and enjoy the scenery. At exactly 7 pm when it was still light, they would suddenly fly off, where to, I do not know. Some days there would only be one bird.

On other days there would also be a pair of lovey-dovey Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) (bottom). I presume this was a pair, as the two birds would often sit close together, sometimes indulging in allopreening.

The Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) sometimes visit the bush but stayed only for a short while, never resting on a branch for more then a few seconds. They are the ones regularly visiting my noni tree (Morinda citrifolia).

These birds, together with Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum) and Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) were always around the mistletoe Macrosolen cochinchinensis when this plant was flowering and fruiting. This semi-parasitic plant grows on the branches of a nearby mempat tree (Cratoxylum formosum) that, thankfully have been left alone and not pruned away by the maintenance crew of the National Parks Board. When the mistletoe plants were flowering and fruiting, these birds enjoyed the copious nectar secreted by the flowers and the succulent berry-like fruits.

Being a regular perching bush of these birds that feed on the mistletoes, the bougainvillea obviously shows signs of the presence of their germinating seeds. These can clearly be seen growing on the stems of the bush (see germinating seed, above), no doubt in time to come, will weaken the flowering bush unless they are removed.

YC Wee
Singapore
26th February 2006

PS: About a month after the above piece was written, my neighbour’s bougainvillea bush was heavily trimmed by her gardener. The mempat tree was similarly pruned and most of the mistletoe plants removed, but not completely. I await the return of the birds when the plants grow back to their former glory.

Caterpillars and birds

posted in: Feeding-invertebrates, Hornbills | 3

Caterpillars are regularly eaten by birds. However, most birds avoid the noxious ones, especially those that are brightly coloured and hairy. Cuckoos (Cuculidae) specialise on caterpillars as these are their favourite food and they have no hesitation eating even the noxious ones. The arboreal species generally perch motionless on a branch looking for caterpillars. When a one is spotted, the bird grabs it and returns to its perch to eat it. Because caterpillar guts may be filled with indigestible and toxic leaf matters, the bird carefully removes the contents. This is done by biting off one end and gently thrash it against a branch. Once the gut contents are removed, the bird swallows it whole. Sometimes the caterpillar is passed back and forth through the bill to remove the contents. Hairy caterpillars are similarly swiped against a branch, not to remove the hairs, but to empty it of its gut contents. The birds apparently eat the caterpillars together with the hairs, the latter forming a mat in the stomach. These hairs are regularly regurgitated as pellets.

We give below two personal accounts of how two different species of local birds handle large caterpillars.

Robert Teo reported seeing an Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) in Pulau Ubin that caught a caterpillar of the Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas). This moth is the largest in Southeast Asia and possibly in the world. It’s bluish green caterpillar has a series of dorsal and sub-dorsal spines. The hornbill had the caterpillar in its beak and was vigorously shaking it before finally swallowing it.

Tan Hang Chong tells of another incident: “As I was birding along Lorong Sesuai some years ago, I chanced upon a Crow-billed Drongo (Dicrurus annectans). The bird was perched on a tree at eye level and I had the opportunity to observe it for a long while. What caught my immediately attention was that it had one of the largest tan-coloured caterpillar I had ever seen in its beak! The caterpillar was easily 15 cm long and as thick as my finger.

“The drongo started to move the caterpillar along its beak (ala cartoon characters eating a cob of corn). I initially presumed that the drongo was trying to flatten the caterpillar, the better to swallow it later. Thereafter, the drongo turned the caterpillar around, held it on its end and proceeded to swallow it whole. It surely looked like a most uncomfortable feat as the drongo’s torso was not much longer than the caterpillar!”

Contributed by Robert Teo and Tan Hang Chong, additional input by YC; image of Atlas moth caterpillar by Angie Ng and of hornbill by YC.

Interspecific interaction of birds at Pasir Ris

posted in: Interspecific | 5

The place: near the Pasir Ris MRT Station, Singapore. The time: around 8 am. The date: 22nd December 2005. I noticed this whole assemblage of different species of birds on the grass, some foraging, others just looking around. There were crows, mynas, egrets and rock pigeons. More were continually joining in, especially pigeons and crows. The egrets didn’t really seem to mind and almost seemed oblivious to the 30-40-strong gathering before them.

Could the spot be a designated meeting ground for birds? After all, birds sometimes do communicate and discuss eating places, like Singaporeans. Or could the spot, judging from the seemingly limited interspecies interactions, be just a good spot for forage or rest? If the latter, it is amazing that there is no or little competition or observable territorial behaviour among different bird species!

Text and image by Lim Junying.

Comment by our bird specialist, R. Subaraj: I am glad that you were observant enough to notice this. Most people, including many birdwatchers, would have simply ignored the gathering as it mainly involved common urban species.

Based on the photo and what you have written, I would think that the area is a good feeding site. The Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus ibis) normally hunt insects in fields and the mynas and crows are opportunists who would also catch and eat insects. The patch of grass may be rich in invertebrate life due to some unknown reasons (dampness, freshly cut grass, etc.). As for the pigeons, they may focus on seeds but could be eating invertebrates as well, being highly adaptable.

As for competition, if there is plenty about there should be no problem. However, it may be interesting to study if they are working as a team, in a birdwave of sorts. A birdwave is a gathering of insectivorous bird species that move together to stir up more insects. This is a common occurrence in forests, from the lowlands to the mountains. The more birds involved, the more insects are stirred up and the better chance of finding a buffet, such as a tree of caterpillars.

Does this behaviour occur on the ground and in more open country or urban settings? Should be fun finding out.

Keep at it and nature never fails to amaze!

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: 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

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