Breeding Distraction 1: Masked Lapwing

posted in: Nesting | 0

While visiting the Hobart Botanical Gardens, Tasmania in Dec 2005, Teo Lee Wei and family “came across a pair of birds about the size of crows. They were running and flying very low, calling in distress and visibly stressed. Their antics seemed like some distracting ploy. Then we noticed five little chicks running helter-skelter in all directions but generally towards the parent birds.

“We managed to get near two little chicks and when we were within a metre of them they promptly sat down. Managed to snap the picture of one that was very well camouflaged. All the while the parent birds kept up their high-energy and high-decibel antics. When we moved a little away from the chicks, the two got up and ran towards the parents.

“Throughout the two hours we were there the same thing happened without a break.

“When we returned the gardens the following day, we witnessed the same thing. We wondered why the parents chose a well-walked area to raise their brood when there were so many quiet corners in the huge garden grounds.

“When we visited Grindewald (Swiss Village) near Launceston we saw many of these birds near the roadside. The coach driver said they are Australian road runners. We did not see any little chicks running around or their antics.

“The episode reminds me of my own antics while raising my son. Humans share a lot of genes with birds I understand. Maybe I’m bird-brain wired and so can empathise with them.”

Note: The bird is actually a Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles). They are very noisy, making a loud ‘kekekekekek’ call. The nest is a scrape in the ground, lined with grass and small twigs or unlined. The nestlings quit the nest within a few hours of hatching, to be led away by the parents to shelter. They are defended vigorously, the parent birds diving at intruders with a daunting screaming chatter.

Text and images by Teo Lee Wei.

Hougang’s Hell For Hornbills

posted in: uncategorised | 0

I cannot begin to describe how heavy my heart felt recently when I found two huge Blyth’s Hornbills being crammed into a tiny cage and put on sale at Chua’s Pet Trading in Hougang. If there is any proverbial cupboard where skeletons are to be found in ‘First World’ Singapore, Hougang is one. It’s the ‘Guantanamo Bay’ of Singapore… and freedom is taken away for no other crime than being ‘wild and exotic’ birds.

What else can I say? : (

Beyond what I have just wrote, how do I begin to describe the intimacy with which our own freedom are tied to theirs? I am truly lost for words.

However, let me share this photo (above), and invite you to step back in time with me and witness how insistent the hornbills were at biting the cold hard wire of the cage. They just want to be free; as free as all wild birds are born to be.

Would you, my dear sentient friends, share your thoughts and feelings with me too? I look forward to post them faithfully here. Thank you.

WHEN THE BUYING STOPS, THE TRADING WILL TOO!

©Joseph Lai 2003

The above has been posted at the request of Joseph Lai to let as many people as possible know about the cruelty of this trade.

Attacked by White-bellied Sea Eagle

posted in: Interspecific | 0

K.C. Tsang, an avid birder and photographer, was walking along a grassy area in Ponggol when a juvenile White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) (also known as White-bellied Fish-Eagle), decided to check on him. In KC’s very words: “From high above it swooped down. Lucky for me I noticed what the fellow was doing, pointed the camera at it, it did an air-braking action, its talons already extended.”

KC did manage to get one dramatic shot of the bird as it was coming at him, as shown here, uncropped! I suppose it was worth the excitement and the risk of losing his baseball cap. But was the bird aiming for his cap? Was it hoping for a bigger catch?

After being frightened off, the bird circled KC a few times as he kept walking, his heart no doubt pounding. KC had more chances to make some more close shots, but I suppose the excitement of losing his cap and all caused him to get only blurred and over-exposed images. His D50 Camera did not react fast enough “Or maybe I should have lifted my finger off the trigger to let camera readjust itself.

Daisy, a Malaysian birder, wrote: “Obviously, this juvenile can’t tell the difference between a mouse and a human being wearing a baseball cap. I’ve been told raptors have been known to swoop at humans and cause scarring injuries. You are lucky! (Next time walk wearing a helmet). And what a flying shot you got there.”

Read about other attacks by House Crows: 1 and 2.

Thanks, KC for the exciting account and use of the image; and Daisy for the comment.

Rainbow Lorikeet 1: A future pest in Singapore?

posted in: Exotics | 7

A few months back Jeremy Lee wrote: “I was in Perth in 2001 when I though it might be a good idea to find out how I could legally bring back a pet Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) to Singapore. There were plenty of birds to adopt from those animal refuge centres. However, the paperwork was daunting, besides this bird is in the CITES species list.

“I think this bird should be more correctly taken out of the CITES list and put on the banned potential immigrant list 😛

“At that point in time, I was wondering how could this bird be endangered when there were so many in Australia? They were even nesting in downtown palms!

“The New Zealanders have been trying to get rid of them. As an alien species the bird is creating havoc to the local species.

“If it is as tough a species as I take it to be, once a breeding colony is established in Singapore from birds escaping from the pet trade (or owners giving them up because of their messy feeding habits), in ten years time I may be seeing Rainbow Lorikeets flying around instead of Red-breasted (Psittacula alexandri) or Long-tailed Parakeets (Psittacula longicauda).”

Robert Teo agrees that this bird can be a problem, just like the Red-breasted Parakeet (top left) that is displacing our native Long-tailed Parakeet (top right). Similarly, Lim Jun Ying feels that much as immigrant birds may be better suited to their new environment, they do not belong. He cites the example of the Brown Tree Snake that was accidentally introduced into Guam. Within a few years, it drove eight out of the 11 or 12 endemic bird species to extinction.

KC Tsang thinks otherwise: “Birds like the Rainbow Lorikeet should not be considered a pest as it is behaving in ways that nature has destined it to do, and to survive as best as it can… But I cannot say this for crows, as they are true pests by any human definition.”

Our bird specialist, R. Subaraj has the final word: “Rainbow Lorikeets has been flying free for some years now. Besides the regular birds at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, they have also been recorded from a few other places such as Loyang, Upper Thomson and Pasir Laba.

“However, despite being around for some time now, they seem to have difficulty establishing themselves in Singapore. And it was not until last year that we actually have a reportedly successful breeding record. The previous nesting failed, due to predation by a monitor lizard. We are still monitoring the situation. However, there is no cause for alarm just yet.

“Besides Rainbows, other lory species have also been recorded free flying here, including at least a couple of species from the Red Lory complex of Indonesia.

In a country such as Singapore, where bird trade is a staple business, escapees are prevalent and diverse. For decades we have been concerned about the Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) and the House Crow (Corvus splendens) feral populations. A few new introductions are beginning to take over parts of Singapore but the authorities are not too concerned as they have yet to become pests to humans.”

Thanks to Jeremy Lee, Robert Teo, KC Tsang, Lim Jun Ying and R Subaraj for their input. Images of Rainbow Lorikeet perching on a branch of the Golden Penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) tree (top) in Singapore, Red-breasted (bottom left) and Long-tailed Parakeets (bottom right) by YC.

Deformed bill

posted in: Hornbills, Morphology-Develop. | 3

While holidaying in Pangkor Island, Malaysia in May 2005, Susan Wong caught sight of an Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) with a deformed bill. With such an unusual bill, the bird obviously would have problems feeding. Yet, considering its size, it would appear that it had not fared badly. Still, Susan wondered how the bird picked up its food.

I am not sure whether there are any earlier reports of birds with deformed bills coming from Malaysia and Singapore. However, there are dozens of observations by birders in the United States on beak deformities in chickadees (Parus spp.). Most of these come from feeder-watchers, people who set up bird feeders in their gardens to attract birds.

In most deformities the upper and lower mandibles are longer than usual, with the upper longer and decurved.

Scientists are still not sure what causes these deformities. One theory is that food may be a factor. The hardness of the food a bird eats can regulate bill growth. This is because bills, like fingernails, are soft structures that grow at a constant rate. Thus the harder the food, the more wear and tear the bill undergoes. And regular bill use keeps bill growth in check. Other than diet, injury, diseases, and parasites can affect bill growth.

It would be interesting if other birders visiting Pangkor Island can make observations on the feeding habits of this particular hornbill.

R. Subaraj, our bird specialist, reports that several years ago, he observed a Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus), a shorebird with upturned bill, with a deformed, downcurved bill, in Punggol (Sungei Serangoon). This same bird turned up at the same spot for two winters, indicating that the bird had learnt to cope with its handicap and feed sufficiently well to not only survive for at least a year, but also managed to undertake at least two autumn migrations (south) and one spring migration (north).

Thank you Susan, for this rare image and note.

You can get more information on bill deformities at this web site.

Life around a rotting tree trunk 5: The final chapter

posted in: Interspecific | 1

By the end of April the top portion of the rotting trunk at Eng Neo collapsed due to the continuous rainy weather (left). This meant that the cavities used by the various birds were there no more. The top portion of the trunk where the Dollarbirds (Eurystomus orientalis) nested, was buried in the ground when it collapsed, probably trapping the nestlings. The Collared Kingfishers’ (Todiramphus chloris) nest, found lower down the trunk, was at the point of the break and not buried. A nestling was found at the base of the trunk, dead, while another was alive. Sreedharan Gopalsamy was there at this final chapter and gives his account:

“The Eng Neo area has been a favourite for birdwatchers and photographers in the month of April and early May due to the Hornbill sightings and the nesting of several species including the dollarbird and the collared kingfisher.

“On 30th April, I was over there photographing the Dollarbirds and their antics. When I moved over to the nesting tree I realised something was amiss. A huge chunk of the tree trunk had disappeared. Together with it, the nests of Dollarbird and Collared Kingfisher. The kingfisher parents appeared every 10 minutes searching for their nest to no avail. They kept going to the wrong “hole”. They could not comprehend why the juveniles could not be found.

“Later, a friend, Philip, and I decided to investigate further. Looking around, Philip spotted something bluish hopping amongst the tall grass. It turned out to be a very tired and disoriented juvenile Collared Kingfisher. I made a quick call to Ashley who, as it turned out, was at Ayer Keroh at that time. He suggested us taking it to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve or Jurong Bird Park and handing it over to them for subsequent nursing.

“A further look around and some calls later allowed us to figure out what had happened. All was fine on the 29th till late afternoon. The heavy rainstorm that night caused the large part of the trunk, just below the kingfisher’s nest, to break-off and plunge towards the ground. The falling part broke into several pieces upon impact. The top end was impaled into the ground. This was the Dollarbirds’ nest. Despite all our efforts, we could not budge the buried trunk and so any Dollarbird chicks would have been buried alive. After a look around, I located the broken stump with the kingfisher nest. As the nest was not covered, it allowed the poor shell-shocked juvenile to escape. Looking around the nest I found a dead sibling (of the juvenile) who had probably died some days previously but not from the impact.

“Philip decided to take the juvenile home and nurse it. He fed it with worms in the first couple of days and included little frogs in its diet subsequently. By 2nd May the juvenile could fly a few meters. On 3rd May, the juvenile was strong enough to fly off and start its new life on its own.”

Thanks Sree for the most interesting account of the final chapter of the Eng Neo saga. All images by Sree except top by YC Wee.

Feather maintenance: Preening

posted in: Feathers-maintenance | 2

Birds spend a large portion of their time preening. This involves fluffing its feathers and then using its bill to comb them. Preening aligns the barbs and barbules that make up the feather vane and ensures that they are properly interlocked. At the same time the bird applies a waxy oil that comes from the preen gland found at the base of the tail, spreading it all over the feathers. This oil, once thought to waterproof the feathers, is now believed to keep them from drying out and becoming brittle. The oil also deters feather parasites like bacteria, fungi, mites and lice.

Feather care is crucial to the bird. After all, feathers help to insulate it from the cold, waterproof it from the rain and ensure trouble-free flight.

When not foraging or indulging in other activities, a bird can be seen perching on a branch and carefully preening its feathers. The wing is stretched out and the head moves towards it to carefully preen the feathers. The tail is raised and the head turned back to attend to the tail feathers.

In areas where the bird cannot reach with its bill, like the top of the head and neck, it uses its foot to scratch. Sometimes it may indulge in mutual grooming, also known as allopreening. Besides having the hard-to-reach parts preened, allopreening strengthens bonding between the birds. It is commonly seen between sibling birds.

Other methods of feather maintenance includes anting, sunbathing and dust bathing.

Image of White-crested Laughingthrush (Garrulax leucolophus) (top) by Johnny Wee; those of Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis) (bottom) by YC.

Beginning of a new breeding season…

posted in: Nesting | 0

February must be the beginning of a new breeding season. In and around my garden, I can see birds busy collecting nesting materials.

The Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis) are arriving at the ceram palm to harvest palm frond fibres. They perch along the midrib of a leaflet, moving sideways towards the tip, pecking on the side of the leaflet to loosen a piece of fibre. The tips of these leaflets are usually frayed by the wind and pieces of fibres are exposed towards the tips. Just as suddenly as they arrive, these starlings suddenly fly off to their nests’ sites. After some time they return and make further collections.

The Javan Mynas (Acridotheres javanicus) (as well as the starlings), on the other hand, are collecting pieces of fresh golden penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) leaves. They peck the young leaves to break pieces and fly off with them. I am not sure what their nests look like but I must imagine that they are lined with fresh leaf pieces that eventually dry up. Our bird specialist, R. Subaraj, says that it is advantageous to harvest fresh leaves. Besides being pliable, the pieces last longer than if the bird starts with dead brown leaves. Sounds logical to me! Besides harvesting leaf pieces, they are picking palm fibres off the ground.

The Pink-necked Green Pigeons (Treron vernans) are back at the ceram palms, making courtship sounds and behaviour. A few males are collecting twigs from the mempat trees (Cratoxylum formosum) along the road, flying in and out as they start to build their nests.

The Yellow-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus goiavier) are similarly harvesting nesting materials. They have been at my Alexandra palm (Archontophoenix alexandrae), collecting old stems of the dragon scale fern (Pyrrosia piloselloised) to build their nest.

Then the Olive-backed Sunbirds (Nectarinia jugularis) are actively collecting spider’s web. They hover around where these webs are and peck off pieces to bring to their nest.

The above observations are only in my suburban garden. I am sure all over the island other species of birds are busy collecting nesting materials to construct their nests.

Yes, a new breeding season is beginning!

Our bird specialist, R. Subaraj has this to say: “Many bird species do indeed start breeding from Feb/Mar, though some start as early as Dec/Jan and others as late as Apr/May. Those starting in Feb/Mar may have two broods with the second season commencing around May/June, right after the first batch fledges. The breeding season seems to follow the migration timing and birds seem to choose the period of less competition from migrants as well as less predation from migrant hawks – Japanese Sparrowhawk (Accipiter gularis) and Chinese Goshawk (A. soloensis) are common between Oct-Feb and specialise on small birds.

Input by R. Subaraj and YC, images by YC

Life around a rotting tree trunk 4: Dollarbirds and parakeet

posted in: Interspecific | 2

Dollarbirds can be very aggressive indeed, especially when their nests are being raided by other birds. This exciting drama was captured on ‘film’ by Chan Yoke Meng at the patch of secondary growth at Eng Neo recently.

Meng was there on 9th April 2006 waiting for the hornbills to appear when he suddenly saw a Long-tailed Parakeet (Psittacula longicauda) entering the nesting hole of the Dollarbirds (Eurystomus orientalis). This pair of Dollarbirds had taken over the cavity from a pair of Long-tailed Parakeets earlier.

Th parakeet’s sudden entry into the nest caused panic among the pair of Dollarbirds that was around the dead tree. The latter were circling around and screeching when suddenly one flew straight into the nest. The parakeet was already inside the cavity but the Dollarbird pushed itself in, got hold of the former’s beak and literally dragged the parakeet out of the nest. The Dollarbird succeeded in expelling the intruder from the nest. Peace returned to the area.

For the next hour or so one of the Dollarbirds remained in the nest, its body blocking the entrance and one of its legs firmly placed on the rim. It was in defensive mode, ready to fly out and confront the parakeet should it attempt to make a further attack. The other Dollarbird stationed itself at the top of the trunk

Whether the parakeet did any damage to the occupants, either the eggs if the birds were still incubating or the nestlings if any had hatched, could not be ascertained. But the Dollarbirds were still seen flying regularly into the nest a week after, usually one entering the nest for some minutes while the other stood guard at the top of the rotting trunk.

Input and images by Chan Yoke Meng.

For R. Subaraj’s comments, see here.

Forensic birding 4: Seeds

posted in: Feeding-plants | 0

Most mornings during the months of February and March 2006, I found seeds scattered along my driveway. They appeared in ones and twos, sometimes more. The ones I recognised were MacArthur (Ptychosperma macarthurii) (1, left) and Alexandra (Archontophoenix alexandrae) (2, left) palms seeds.

The seeds were always devoid of the outer fleshy covering. Because of their condition, they could not have come from the rear end of any birds. They must have been regurgitated. But by what species of bird?

I have evidence that the Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis) swallows Alexandra palm fruits whole, and regurgitates the seeds soon after. Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) pecks on these fruits but swallows whole fruits of MacArthur palm. But I have yet to witness any regurgitating of the seeds by the bulbul.

The bird or birds responsible for scattering these seeds on my driveway could be either of 4hese two birds. They would be perching on the frond backs of the two tall Ceram palms (Rhopaloblaste ceramica) by the driveway. The starlings regularly visit the palm to shelter from the heat of the day among the old inflorescence branches and old spathes that cluster around the base of the crown that have yet to be dislodged. They also come to feast on the ripe fruits. The bulbuls are fewer.

In March my Alexandra palms were fruiting. The starlings were feasting on the ripe fruits and they were also resting in the Ceram palms. During this period I found more of these palm seeds as well as those of MacArthur palm.

I have also found many other types of seeds that were probably regurgitated by birds. I have yet to ID them as I need to germinate then and have the seedlings identified. When I know their ID I will make a posting on this blog. In the meantime we just have to wait and see…

Input and images by YC Wee.

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

Leave a Reply to Martin Nyffeler (PhD) Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.