Malayan Whistling Thrush: 2. Night at the nest

posted in: Nesting, Raptors | 0

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A pair of nesting Malayan Whistling Thrushes (Myophonus robinsoni) was located in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia on March 2008 (above). An internet video camera was installed on 24th March by Allan Teo to monitor activities on a 24-hour basis . Only infrared lighting was used at night and during low lighting conditions during the day. The following account is based on computer screen observations and the images other than the one above by Allan, are screen grabs.

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The video was working at around 2320 hours and an adult was already at the nest, to prepare the chicks for the night (above).

It is to be noted that the two sexes of the Malayan Whistling Thrush can only be separated by size – the female is slightly smaller. As such, it is not possible to ascertain whether it was the male or the female that was at the nest that night, or any night or day for that matter.

The adult attempted to lie in the nest, trying to tug the chicks under its wings (below top). The chicks were not ready to settle down. A few times the adult had to leave the nest when the chicks became too boisterous. It perched on the beam supporting the nest in order to get a few minutes of peace before returning to the nest (below bottom). The chicks became less active a few hours later but even then they still moved around the nest.

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By around 0020 hours (25th March), the chicks quietened down a little, to sleep under the wings of the adult. The adult was observed to occasionally heave slightly up and down, as if to accommodate the moving chicks. Throughout the night the sleeping adult made slight movements, rotating around the nest (below).

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At 0520 hours the adult suddenly moved out of the nest to perch on the beam. Adult and chicks preened. The adult re-entered the nest a few times before flying off at 0625 hours to look for breakfast. The chicks preened and waited to be fed.

The adult returned within half an hour with a snack, looking like a moth, to feed a hungry chick. It flew off to return within eight minutes to feed the other chick. Four other subsequent feedings took place, each within a few minutes of the other.

Allan Teo & YC Wee
Singapore
April 2008

YC would like to thank Allan for giving him access to the video recordings of the nesting; Allan gratefully acknowledges the family of Shum Yip Leong for permission to install the video camera within their premise and for generously contributing to substantial bandwidth support.

Malayan Whistling Thrush: 1. Nesting observations

posted in: Nesting | 2

This series has been published as: Teo, Allan & Y. C. Wee, 2009. Observations at a nest of Malayan Whistling Thrush Myophonus robinsoni in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysa. BirdingASIA 11: 95-97.

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Allan Teo visited Cameron Highlands, Malaysia on March 2008 and sent in this report on the 24th: “Over the weekend I photographed this rare Malayan Whistling Thrush (Myophonus robinsoni) and its two chicks (above). It makes its nest at the same time very year. This species is listed as Vulnerable and is very difficult to obtain a photo let alone nesting.”

This thrush is endemic to Peninsular Malaysia. It is a rare and internationally vulnerable species and is confined to the Main Range from Cameron Highlands south to Genting Highlands.

The habitat of this thrush is the understorey and floor of the lower and upper montane forests. It forages alone or in pairs among ground litter and around streams. Whatever information on its food has so far been speculative. A few nests have been seen, described as massive cup-shaped structiures constructed of vegetative materials attached to lianas and saplings. The eggs have been described in Wells (2007) but details of incubation, brooding, fledgling, etc. are, so far, unknown.

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The nesting in Cameron Highlands at an elevation of about 1,600 metres could reveal a wealth of information. The nest, built inside a factory warehouse at about 5 metres from the ground, is a massive half-cup structure made up of dried plant materials, probably narrow strips of leaves, thin stems, etc. as the outside appears an untidy mass of dangling materials. The nest sits at the T-joint of two narrow wooden beams, one running along the side of a wall and the other across to the other wall. The side of the nest is attached to the wall surface, probably with the help of mud. The presence of mud can be discerned on the nest rim and inner surface.

There are two nestlings, probably around more that a week old (two weeks?) old as their eyes are opened, juvenal feathers are mostly in place and they are active all the time. They are also relatively large, the two nearly filling the nest. The food brought by the parents include small snakes and moths (left).

Allan is planning to video the nesting on a 24-hour basis using infrared lighting.

Allan Teo & YC Wee
Singapore
April 2008

NOTE: Thanks to Ong Tun Pin, Tan Gim Cheong, R. Subaraj and Bruce Ramsay, the distribution of the Malayan Whistling Thrush has been corrected. The bird is actually endemic to Peninsular Malaysia and does not occur in Sumatra. [4th April]

References:
1.
Collar, N. J.. (2005). Family Turdidae (Thrushes). Pp. 514-805 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Christie, D. A. eds. Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 10. Cucuoo-shrikes to Thrushes. Barcelona: Lynx Editions.
2. Wells, D.R. (2007). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London.

Black-naped Oriole: Courtship

posted in: Courtship-Mating | 2

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The Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis) is a common resident of Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia. However, come winter, the population is increased by the arrival of migratory birds from the north.

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During the breeding season, the shrill, flute-like whistles of these birds fill the air as the males defend their territories as well as attract females. There may be occasional aerial chases as the birds zig-zag round trees, sometimes ending in midair grappling.

The arrival of a female bird will be aggressively courted by the males, with high-speed aerial chase through and above trees. The birds may be so close that the male may almost touch the tail of the female.

In the case of the Northern Oriole (Zcterus galbula), courtship display consists of the male bowing in front of the female with wings lowered and fanned tail somewhat cocked upwards. The female may respond by either ignoring the male, singing or chattering. She may even lean forward and quiver her wings and vocalise in response.

Have birders from Malaysia and Singapore published any articles on the courtship behaviour of our local species of oriole? Or made any observations? If so, can you please share?

Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman
Raub, Pahang, Malaysia
March 2008

Reference:
Edinger, B.B. (1988). Extra-pair courtship and copulation attempts in Northern Orioles. The Condor 90:546-54.

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Another Javan Myna chick picked up: 1. Care

posted in: Feeding chicks, Rescue | 3

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The posting of the Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) chick attracted the attention of Gloria Seow. She had just picked up a myna chick displaced from its nest and contacted me. I reluctantly accepted it after the tragic end to the earlier one.

On the evening of 18th March 2007, the chick was delivered. This time around, I got a proper cage, after being made painfully aware of the dangers posed by neighbouring cats. This was a right decision as on the evening it was transferred to the cage, I found the same cat that took my earlier myna sitting patiently below, thinking of its dinner (left).

The current myna chick is a few days to fledging. The wing feathers are all fully developed. So are the tail feathers. The yellow oral flanges are turning whitish. It has also been exercising its wings. The bird can stand and hop around. In fact it did run away when I placed it on the ground.

It is well aware of the calls of the birds around, even those of the Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier). It listens intently and at times even scrambling around the cage excitedly.

However, it still needs to be hand-fed. Only then will it gape widely for food to be introduced into the mouth. Initially this was accompanied with high pitch screeching but not so now. It appears to recognise me and is more relaxed, allowing me to remove it from the cage for feeding. This is unlike the earlier chick that willingly gaped for feeding.

And unlike the other chick, this one does not beg for food when hungry. It remains quiet most of the time, except in the beginning when it panicked when approached. Another difference is that it has no confident perching on a branch, unlike its younger counterpart.

Although about to fledge, it still needs to be hand-fed. It has yet to learn how to pick up food to feed itself. Without this skill, it will be difficult to survive when released.

Now how do I teach it to handle its own food?

Look, watch and listen to birds

posted in: Vocalisation | 4

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We have been looking at birds for more than two decades now. We have been paying attention to bird identification, fascinated by the plumage, as seen in the Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis) on the left. Currently there are many birdwatchers who are good at bird recognition. The Bird Group of the Nature Society (Singapore) has done an excellent job in this respect. This was done through courses, field trips, bird races, annual bird census, etc., all put in place in 1984 by Clive Briffett and his team.

The formation of the Bird Ecology Study Group in 2005 injected a little science to the mainly recreational activities of birdwatching. BESG, as this group has become known, introduced the study of bird behaviour.

While birdwatchers were previously mainly looking at birds, enjoying the diversity of bird life and compiling lists of species from different habitats, they have now been encouraged to observe birds. Observations on what food birds take, how they catch their food, their nesting habits, breeding ecology, interspecific interactions, etc. were collected and published in this blog.

Making such observations easily available to all was deemed crucial in encouraging birdwatchers to participate in data collection. In this respect we have been successful as evidenced by the ever increasing visitor number to our blog.

Although bird photographers were mainly sending in their photographic evidence initially, we now have traditional binocular-toting birdwatchers making behavioural observations in between listing species.

Three years into encouraging behaviour-watch, we have succeeded in making birdwatchers aware of the necessity of not just looking at birds, but also watching them. We are not stopping here but moving on. We hope to encourage birdwatchers to also listen to birds, not just looking and watching.

Birds make a series of calls and sing wide-ranging songs. Through the work of Sutari Supari, we have recordings of bird sounds. This is an excellent basic compilation. We need to improve on this, to record the entire repertoire of calls and songs of each species. Many species have more than one call and/or song. Only recently, Gloria Seow mentioned to me that she has noted that the Black-naped Oriole has a repertoire of at least seven songs.

We also need to slowly find out exactly what each call and song means. Are they made to defend territory, to attract mates, to warn others of predators?

We invite birders when out in the field to listen to birds, make notes and publish them to share these observations so that we can, together, build on our scarce knowledge of bird vocalisation.

YC Wee
Singapore
March 2008

Yellow-vented Bulbul: Feeding fledglings in the rain

posted in: Feeding chicks | 4

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March is a busy month for the Yellow-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus goiavier). This is a time when their chicks fledge and the garden is filled with the never-ending chick-chick-chick of the hungry fledglings. They are constantly begging for food. And they need to be fed, come sunshine or rain (above).

The parent birds are always around their hungry chicks. When one flies off to forage, the other is always nearby. The fledglings have yet to be wary of humans and they remain on the branch, not flying away when approached. But one thing they know to do, and that is to stop their begging cries.

My being around the fledglings always makes the parents nervous. They fly around me making their loud calls, desperately trying to distract me.

They have a rich repertoire of scolds, from the gurgling chok-chok-chok or chok-chok-chok-chick to kritek-kritek-kritek, or with a kroor added after the third kritek. At times the scolding includes kritek-tik-tik. If only I know what they are saying!

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It has been raining these few days in the afternoons. The chicks are huddling together under shade of the leafy terap tree (Artocarpus odoratissimus). Their feathers are fluffed in an effort to keep warm and they look like cute bundles of stuffed birds. The moment a parent approaches, they become active, begging loudly and gaping wide to highlight the reddish gape lined with yellow oral flanges (above).

While one chick is fed, the other waits patiently for its turn the next time around. There is much begging but no violence – the parents know exactly which one is the next in line to be fed. The garden is full of ripening fruits and they need not go far in the rain.

I was watching the feeding in the light rain at around 1700-1740 hours from a distance and just before the sky darkened further, a pair of noisy birds landed nearby and the chicks immediately moved off to another, more leafy branch.

YC Wee
Singapore
March 2008

Antics of an Indian fantail

posted in: Nesting | 0

All the way from northern India, near to the foothills of the Himalayas, specifically Dehradun in Uttarakhand, comes a contribution from a young birder on the nesting of a fantail.

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“A fantail-flycatcher pair has made its nest in the bamboo plants just 
opposite my house. It started building its nest on 28th February 2008 but as the nest is quite high in the tree and 
it is in private land, thus not possible for me to monitor the nest.


“On 12th March, the bird entered my backyard and perched on the 
wired fence. It was making graceful sallies after the flies and 
waltzing and pirouetting in the air, also looping-the-loop in the 
air.

“It returned to the fence each time it caught a fly.

“I was about 4-5 feet from the bird. But it did not 
seem to be perturbed by my presence. This could be because the chicks might be needing food in the nearby nest and in order to feed them, it had no choice but to catch flies, no matter if I was around.

“It flew back to the nest after every successful catch. It was a magnificent sight to see a bird
 looping in the air just in front of my eyes.”

Harshit further added, “Last year this bird made its nest in my house. So I have its nest photos with three eggs and also of the bird sitting on the nest (left).”

It seems that the bird is a White-throated Fantail (Rhipidura albicollis).

Harshit Singhal
Uttarakhand, India
March 2008

Chinese Pond Heron and its status

posted in: Heron-Egret-Bittern | 14

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In March 2007, the appearance of a Javan Pond Heron (Ardeola speciosa) in Darwin, Australia, had Aussie twitchers in a flap. The bird was apparently blown in from Indonesia with Cyclone George and subsequently took up residency in the northern suburbs. News of its presence spread quickly and twitchers from all corners of Australia flew in for a glimpse.

This year, also in March, the Javan Pond Heron was sighted at Singapore’s Lorong Halus (left). As expected, the appearance of the heron had our local twitchers in a similar flap.

The bird was in its breeding plumage and this confirmed its identity without any dispute. In the absence of this plumage it is extremely difficult to differentiate it from the Chinese Pond Heron (Ardeola bacchus).

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The Chinese Pond Heron, on the other hand, is an uncommon winter visitor and local birders are familiar with it (right). Not so the Javan, reported in Lim (1997) as a probable vagrant. However, its earlier occurrences have been challenged by Wang & Hails (2007) who believe that the status of the Javan was, at most, “uncertain”. The earlier sightings in breeding plumage, were photographed at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in October 1994 and again in March 2003. Our field ornithologist Wang Luan Keng believes that these birds could be escapees from the zoo, which has some free-flying specimens.

For reasons unclear to us, the Javan Pond Heron was recently added to the checklist of birds produced by the Nature Society’s Bird Group Records Committee (see reference below). Now, if a species is a new record for the country, there should be proper documentation published somewhere. Birders would like to know whether the sighting in Sungei Buloh in 2003 convinced the Records Committee that the bird was a genuine wild species and the rationale for its acceptance. If not, was it a subsequent sighting? And by whom and when? Maybe I am not aware of such publication/s?

Pond herons that visited Singapore in the early years were always wearing their winter plumage, thus they were mostly assumed to be Chinese Pond Herons. However, some of the recent (post-1997) sightings were in their breeding plumage, thus making their identification as Javan Pond Herons more creditable. Apparently, more and more sightings of these birds in their breeding plumage have been reported during the recent years.

The probability of the Javan Pond Heron sighted at Lorng Halus being a wild bird is great, considering its location, away from the zoo and birdpark. The fact that there were clear images of the bird removes any doubt that it was a Javan. Images are now playing an important role in birding. For one, any reasonably good photographer can make an impact on new sightings, while in the past there would always be doubts until an experienced member of the Records Committee personally saw the bird.

It should also be noted that Lim’s field guide and checklist are popular publications for the lay birdwatchers, whose main interest is identification. On the other hand, the annotated checklist of Wang & Hails is a scientific document written for ornithologists and scientific-minded birders. The annotated checklist was peer reviewed and The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology where it was published is accepted by the scientific community as an international journal of repute.

YC Wee & Wang Luan Keng
Singapore
March 2008
(Images by Lee Tiah Khee)

References:
1. Lim, Kim Seng (1997). Birds – An illustrated field guide to the birds of Singapore. Sun Tree, Singapore.
2. Lim, Kim Seng (2007). Pocket checklist of the birds of the Republic of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore) Bird Group Records Committee.
3. Wang. L.K. & Hails, C. J. (2007). An annotated checklist of birds of Singapore. Raffles Bull. Zool. Suppl. 15:1-179.

A confrontation between two male sunbirds

posted in: Interspecific, Sunbirds | 1

On the evening of 23rd October 2007 I was attracted by the loud and high pitch cries of a sunbird in my backyard. The bird was firing off a series of chic-chic-chwee, chic-chic-chwee, chic-chic-chwee… The cries came in the direction of my curry-leaf tree (Murraya koenigii). Being a tiny bird, it took me some time to locate it. And locate it I did.

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It was a male Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) and it was moving about the branches in a highly restless manner and calling loudly all the time (above left). I thought it was gleaning insects until I noticed another sunbird moving nearby. The other bird was also a male, but an Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis). It was following the Crimson, but silently (above right).

The Crimson came into view, perching on a branch nearby, calling all the time. The Olive-backed flew and landed nearby, less than half a metre away. It then flew off, fanned its tail and landed some distance away.

The Crimson noisily followed and so the pair moved to a palm nearby. All the while the Crimson was calling and the Olive-backed was silent. And they moved around for some time before disappearing.

What were they doing? A confrontation between the two male sunbirds of different species?

YC Wee
Singapore
March 2008

Black-naped Oriole manipulating the Banana Skipper

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Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis) eats a broad range of fruits. It also takes insects like grasshoppers, mantids, large caterpillars and hornet grubs. And of course bird nestlings.

Dr Redzlan Abdul Rahman documented the oriole manipulating the rolled up portions of banana (Musa) leaves that contain the caterpillars of the Banana Skipper (Erionota thrax).

The Banana Skipper is a large brown butterfly with large yellow spots on the forewings above. The adult is seldom seen but the presence of its caterpillars is made conspicuous by the rolled up portions of the banana leaves.

The butterfly lays its eggs singly on the leaves and when the egg hatches, the caterpillar rolls up the leaf from the tip along the mid-vein, feeding on one edge. The caterpillar develops within the roll, to pupate inside as well. When the adult butterfly emerges from the pupa it leaves the roll.

The Black-naped Oriole has become adept at manipulating the banana leaf roll in an effort to get at the caterpillar or pupa hidden inside. The bird lands on the leaf, garbs the roll with its feet to dislodge it. The roll is then brought to a nearby branch where it is expertly manipulated until the caterpillar or pupa inside is extracted.

The caterpillar or pupa inside the roll normally wriggles violently when disturbed and the bird needs to subdue it before eating. This is usually done by swiping the prey against the branch. Sometimes the caterpillar is passed back and forth between the bill to remove the stomach contents, as observed in the Chestnut-bellied Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus sumatranus) and the Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris). However, whether the oriole did this was not observed.

An earlier account of a Black-naped Oriole manipulating a cocoon can be reached HERE.

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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