Grey Nightjar

posted in: Morphology-Develop., Species | 1

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On 23rd November 2007, Daniel Koh spotted a Grey Nightjar (Caprimulgus indicus), a rare passage migrant and winter visitor. The bird was perching on a large branch (left). Many birders came across the Grey on a branch, unlike the resident Large-tailed (Caprimulgus macrurus) that is usually seen on the ground. Being a perceptive birder-photographer, he noticed that the bird was sitting along the branch and not at right angle to it as with most birds. So he was curious to have a look at its feet.

As luck would have it, it was Chan Yoke Meng who managed to get a shot of the bird’s foot when it was scratching its head (below).

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A nightjar’s feet are weak, as seen in the above image, as they are adapted for resting on the ground. The toes do not have the powerful grip of most other birds and presumably the bird has difficulty perching on slender branches. It is thus able to only perch on a large branch, and only sits along it.

However, this does not mean that the bird is clumsy on the ground. Many species can walk quite strongly, especially the chicks. And many occasionally feed on the ground. The toes are partly webbed and the middle toe is pectinate, as seen in herons. This is possibly used to remove parasites and straightening out the rictal bristles during preening.

Nightjars are nocturnal birds, roosting during the daylight hours. And it is during such hours that they are most vulnerable to predators. This is where their cryptic plumage comes into play, to avoid detection during the day when they are roosting.

The head appears large in relation to the body. The bill is small and appears weak. The gape is enormous and lined with long, extremely tactile, rictal bristles. These bristles are modified contour feathers whose barbs are absent. Such are the adaptations for aerial feeding.

The eyes are large and laterally placed. At night they respond to light by shining, an adaptation to improve the vision during dusk and dawn as well as during the night when the moon is absent from the sky.

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Many have conspicuous white patches in the primary as well as outer-tail feathers, as seen in the Grey above, when it was stretching its wings. When the bird is resting, these white patches are never seen, becoming obvious only when in flight. These markings come into play during territorial aggression, courtship and defence displays as well as to distract predators at the nest site.

When approached, the bird may flatten itself to reduce shadow and outline, as well as close the eyes (see top image). Such behaviour provides total camouflage and it is literally unseen, especially on the ground, until you are very near, when the bird suddenly takes off with a noisy flutter.

The bird is an extremely strong flier, being provided with long, slender wings.

Daniel Koh. Ming and Melinda Chan
Singapore
January 2008
(Top image by Daniel, others by Chan Yoke Meng)

BESG weblog logs 200,000 visitors

posted in: Reports | 0

In July 2007, after two years of blogging, BESGroup’s blog logged 100,000 visitors. Now, exactly six months later, we have reached another milestone – 200,000 visitors.

A recent web-rating by an independent professional editor for weblog “blogged” rates this blog as ‘Very Good” and awarded it 8.3 out of 10.0 points (above). The editor used four criteria: 1. frequency of updates; 2. relevance of content; 3. site design; 4. writing style.

We have linked up with many overseas bird blogs. Many others have discovered us as shown below:

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Based in the US, Birdfreak: The Bird Conservation Blog has been recommending us to birders all over the world (left). So have the Malaysia Bird Forum and thaibirding.com.

GlobalVoices, founded at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, has also made referenceto us. This is a research think-tank focused on the internet’s impact on society.

One of our posts was referenced in an article on the Common Myna that appeared in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,

And a Chinese blog based in Biijing literally re-posted chunks of our recent postings, images and all.

OrganicBurials.com makes special mention to our recent post on the Chestnut-bellied Malkoha.

On the local scene, Youth.SG, an online portal for the youth of Singapore, has linked up with BESG. So has Singapore Environmental Blogs.

The above are the new local links. Apologies for not mentioning the many other local links, so as not to make this post excessively long.

Once again BESG thanks one and all for your support – photographers for sharing their bird behaviour images as well as permission to post their images, birders for sending their sightings and observations.

With your continued support, we await the coming of the half million hits.

YC Wee
Singapore
14th January 2008

What do hornbills eat in Thailand?

posted in: Feeding-plants, Hornbills | 1

Hornbills are mainly fruit eaters, although their diet also includes invertebrates including caterpillars, small amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

In Thailand a total of 13 species have been recorded. The different types of foods these spectacular birds take have been well documented by the Hornbill Research Foundation of Thailand.

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Figs (Ficus spp.) are an important source of the hornbill’s diet. There are many species of figs and many of them flower throughout the year. This means that there would always be some trees figging at any time of the year.

Other than figs, a total of more than 60 species of rainforest trees provide these birds with food. These are mainly under-storey trees, many of which are also found outside the forests.

The most important of these plant families include Myristicaceae: Myristica (left top), Knema (left middle) and Gymnacranthera (below, top left); Meliaceae: Aglaia spectabilis (below, top middle), Chisocheton (left bottom), Dysoxylon; Annonaceae: Polyalthia (below, top right); Lauraceae: Litsea (below, bottom left); Myrtaceae: Syzygium; Palmae: Oncosperma; Rubiaceae: Canthium below, bottom right); Sterculiaceae: Sterculia (below, bottom middle) and Theaceae:

Ternstroemia.
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Besides fruits, hornbills have been known to take millipede (below left), caterpillar, grasshopper, beetle (below middle), gecko and rat (below right). An animals diet is most important during nesting as the growing chicks need a constant source of proteins.

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Two earlier posts on hornbills of Thailand are found HERE: 1 and 2.

Input from Hornbill Research Foundation; images courtesy of Dr Pilai Poonswad.

Orange-breasted Green Pigeon sighted in Jurong

posted in: Pigeon-Dove | 8

It has to happen and it did happen – a photographer documenting a new species for Singapore. This elusive bird appeared for just about 15 minutes, after which it has yet to be sighted again. With hard evidence in the form of images, there can be little doubt that the pigeon has to be what it is claimed to be.

In the past there were always doubts in the minds of so-called “experts” when such claims were made by newbies. And new sightings were only recorded long after, when actually seen by these “expert” birders. A new trend is emerging where photographers would be at the forefront of new sightings.

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Dr Jonathan Cheah Weng Kwong was at the Japanese Garden in Jurong on 22nd December 2007 when he spotted a lone bird at the salam tree (Syzygium polyantha). It was quietly eating the fruits for about 15 minutes before it flew off. He posted his best image in Avian Watch Asia (above) and there it would have remained forgotten except that it attracted the attention of birder Albert Low.

On 23rd December Albert wrote: “…What I see, and incidentally what Ding Li sees, in the picture, is a possible Orange-breasted Green-pigeon (Treron bicincta). This species, ironically, was a lifer for both of us when we visited Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka just last week. The significant ID feature missing from the picture is the vent colour. For the uninitiated, this species has been recorded as far south as Port Dickson in Penisular Malaysia and a part of me has suspected that just like Jambu Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus jambu), could occur in Singapore, particularly during big figging seasons.

“…I would strongly urge all birders and photographers visiting this area particularly over the Christmas Break to scan the tree diligently for Treron pigeons and attempt to take more shots should there be one or more similar birds around. If it is indeed a OBGP, it would mark a significant range extension for the species, obviously pending debate on its origin.”

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As an update, Albert wrote on 24th December: “Just an update for the seekers. Jonathan has kindly sent another picture of the bird in question (above). In addition, he has mentioned that the pictures were taken last Saturday and at the entrance to Japanese Garden, thus it is not from overseas and isn’t that dated either.”

This is the first sighting of the Orange-breasted Green Pigeon in Singapore, a male bird. The bird looks like the Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans) except that the forehead, face and throat are greenish yellow. Also, the mauve-pink upper breast area is smaller and does not extend to the neck. The outer feathers of the tail is blackish, with a broad pale grey subterminal band.

According to Wells (1999), it is found as far south of the Malay Peninsular as Port Dickson. The bird is fairly common in eastern Java and northern Bali.

Jonathan Cheah Weng Kwong & Albert Low
Singapore
January 2008
Images by Johathan.

References:
1. Baptista, L. F., Trail, P. W. & Horblit, H. M. (1997). Family Columbidae (pigeons and doves). Pp. 60-245 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. eds. Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 4. Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Barcelona: Lynx Editions.
2. Gibbs, D., Barnes, E. & Cox, J. (2001). Pigeons and doves: A guide to the pigeons and doves of the world. Sussex: Pica Press.
3. Wells, D.R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. I, Non-passerines. Academic Press, London.

White-breasted Woodswallow mating

posted in: Courtship-Mating | 0

Irfan Choo is sharing with us images he took of a pair of White-breasted Woodswallows (Artamus leucorynchus) mating high up on a horizontal cable perch in Selangor, Malaysia (left).

White-breasted Woodswallow is found in Southeast Asia and Australasia, but not in Singapore. This is a small, agile flyer, with large pointed wings, often soaring/gliding in the air. In flight it is easily recognised from its broad pointed wings and short tail, that gives it a triangular shape. The bluish bill and white underparts and underwings against a charcoal black head are diagnostic.

This is an insectivorous bird, catching insects on the wing.

A nomadic species, the bird often roosts in large flocks.

Its nest is a shallow, bowl-shaped structure made of roots, grasses and twigs, lined with fine grasses. This is built in a tree fork, hollow stump or even inside an abandoned nest of a Magpie-lark. Both sexes participate in nest building, incubation and looking after the chicks.

Input and images courtesy of Irfan Choo – www.irfanchoo.com
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Eye colour in bulbuls

posted in: Morphology-Develop., Species | 0

Light enters the eye through the pupil. The iris (Latin for “rainbow), the coloured part of the eye surrounding the pupil, controls the amount entering the eye. When lighting is bright, the pupil closes. It opens up when lighting is reduced.

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Although most birds have a dark, usually brown, iris around a black pupil, there are many with irises that are conspicuously coloured. The colours can be from white to yellow to orange, blue, red or even concentric rings of two or more colours, as in some grebes.

Iris colour can be important in bird identification in certain groups, like the bulbuls. There are 24 species of bulbuls in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Many are similar in size and plumage colour, sometimes differentiated mainly by eye colour.

Indeed, many species have conspicuously coloured eyes, eyerings and eye wattles. The Asian and African species are known for their conspicuously coloured irises, from blue to red, orange, yellow or white, especially among the adult birds.

Take for example, the adult Cream-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus simplex) (left top). It has cream-white eyes, especially in the Peninsular Malaysian race, although in Borneo there are those with red eyes. Immature, however, has dull-coloured eyes. On the other hand, the eyes of the Black-headed Bulbul (P. atriceps) are pale blue, that may appear whitish at a distance (left bottom).

Red-eyed Bulbul (P. brunneus), as the name implies, has red eyes, although sometimes it may be cream-coloured (bottom left).

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Similarly the Straw-headed Bulbul (P. zeylanicus) has red eyes. In the Olive-winged Bulbul (P. plumosus), they are brownish-orange, red or dark red, and this is age related (top right). Those of the Finsch’s Bulbul (Alophoixus finschii) are pale yellow-brown to orange-brown. And in the Streaked Bulbul (Ixos malaccensis), they are dull reddish-brown to deep red. Spectacled Bulbul (P. erythropthalmos) has a red iris but there is also a yellow to yellow-orange eyering (right).

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Input by Morten Strange and YC, images from the book “A Passion for Birds” courtesy of Ong Kiem Sian.
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Reference:
Fishpool, L.D.C. & Tobias, J.A. (2005). Family Pycnonotidae (bulbuls). Pp. 124-251 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.

Arrival of the Peregrine Falcon

posted in: Migration-Migrants, Raptors | 0

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On the morning of 26th December 2007, KC Tsang documented the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) at the Japanese Garden in Jurong (above). The bird was spotted by Margaret Yeo who alerted Amy and KC.

The Peregrine Falcon is widely distributed throughout the world. Its habitat is extremely variable, from the hot tropics to the high Arctic; from the coast to far inland; from semi-desert to forest; and from sea level to an altitude of about 4,000 metres. It breeds in all continents except Antarctica.

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The uncommon visitor and passage migrant that is seen locally during the winter months is the subspecies japonensis. Its arrival can be as early as the first week of August to late May.

It breeds in West Siberia to Kamchatka and migrates to North Africa, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Thailand, the Malay Peninsular and as far south as Sumatra.

Latest: Jimmy Tan sent in the image on the left on 9th January 2008 stating: “There was also another Peregrine Falcon there at around the same period which appeared to have pick up some oil stains. Notice that its claws were also stained.”

Input and image by KC Tsang and Jimmy Tan; top image by KC and bottom by Jimmy.

Asian Paradise-flycatcher: Fan-tail flushing

posted in: Feeding strategy | 4

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Johnny Wee had an exciting encounter with a female Asian Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi) at the Chinese Garden in Jurong on the morning of 21st December 2007. Not only did he get his shots, he was able to observe an interesting behaviour.

The bird was quietly perching on a branch of the bodh-tree (Ficus religiosa). Suddenly it fanned out its tail feathers. The movement of the fanned tail helped flush the insects around. The bird then sallied forth to snatch at them and returned to its perch. It then shook its body, partly spread its wings but leaving them drooping and spread the tail feathers wider. With tail partly opened, it did a sideway fanning, flushing more insects. It continued doing this a few more times.

Asian Paradise-flycatcher has been reported to take insects and other arthropods from a perch, sallying forth to snatch them. It then returns to the same branch or a different one to enjoy its catch. The bird also indulges in twig-gleaning and foliage-gleaning, although less frequently. Occasionally, it descends to the forest floor to flush insects by fluttering its wings.

The African Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis) has been observed using this fan-tail flushing (Coates et al. 2006) but there is no mention by Wells (2007) or Smythies (1999) for Asian Paradise-flycatcher seen around the Thai-Malay Peninsular and Borneo.

According to the literature, this method is common in a number of genera in the Monarch-Flycatchers family, Monarchidae.

It is possible that this fanning of the tail disturbs insects not so much from the movements but from the shadow cast under high light conditions, as shown in observations made on Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys).

I am sure Johnny finds it more fun observing birds than just watching them!

Johnny Wee
Singapore
January 2008

References
1.Coates, B.J., Dutson, G.C.L. & Filardi, C.E. (2006). Family Monarchidae (Monarch-Flycatchers). Pp.244-329 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Christie, D. A. eds. Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 11. Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Barcelona: Lynx Editions.
2. Smythies, B. E. (1999). Birds of Borneo. Kota Kinabalu: Natural History Pub. (Borneo) Sdn. Bhd. & The Sabah Society. 4th ed, revised by G. W. H. Davison.
3. Wells, D.R. (2007). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London.

The Large-tailed Nightjar and the spider 060108

posted in: Miscellaneous | 0

The Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus) is insectivorous. It feeds at dusk and just before dawn, sallying from a perch or even from the ground. It often perches on wiring immediately above street lamps, catching insects attracted to the light.

Its diet consists mostly of night-flying winged insects that are mostly taken and swallowed on the wing. Food may also be gleaned from leaves, twigs, branches or even from the ground.

The wide gape lined with long, tactile rictal bristles helps it to locate and channel small insects into its mouth as the bird flies around trawling for them. Larger insects are simply caught between the bill.

It has been recorded that it takes moths, crickets, grasshoppers, wasps, earwigs, bugs and beetles.

I suppose spiders are also taken.

The attached images show a small spider that has landed on the head of this bird. Obviously it is safe there as the bird is not able to reach it. However, this would not be the case should the spider moves away. It could then become an instant snack.

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Input and images by Johnny Wee.

Java Sparrow conservation

posted in: Conservation | 1

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The Java Sparrow (Padda oryzivora) is indigenous to Java and Bali, from where it spread throughout the tropical world as a result of deliberate release and escape of captive birds (left).

In its home country of Java, the highest concentration of the sparrow is around the Prambanan Temple area in Yogyakata. This temple, the largest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia, was built during the Sanjaya Dynasty around 732 and is currently designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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As a heritage site the complex is regularly maintained. The surrounding vegetation as well as any growths on the temple walls are cleared. Nests of these sparrows among the archeological complex are similarly removed. Such maintenance obviously affects the nesting sites of these sparrows.

The continued capture of the birds for the cage bird trade again has an effect on the overall population. Kutilang Indonesia Foundation, an NGO, has initiated a conservation programme to ensure the survival of these beautiful Java Sparrows. One of its activities has been the provision of artificial nest boxes to give alternative nesting sites (left).

In 2007 two pairs of birds actually occupied these boxes and successfully raised a total of seven chicks, a sure sign of success for the efforts of the Indonesian NGO.

Sunaring Kurniandaru
Indonesia
January 2008
(Image of the birds-nesting box by Sunaring Kurniandaru, image of Java Sparrow (top) courtesy of Peter Ericsson)

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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