Red-breasted Parakeet and African Tulip seeds

posted in: Feeding-plants, Plants | 1

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The Red-breasted Parakeet (Psittacula alexandri) has been documented by Mark Chua eating the seeds of the African tulip tree (Spathodea campanulata) (above). This is another example of an exotic bird eating fruits/seeds of an exotic plant. The earlier example is of the Tanimbar Corella (Cacatua goffini) eating the fruits of the starfruit tree (Averrhoa carambola) (1, 2).

In the case of both the exotic parrots, they have managed to exploit a food niche that has been neglected by other species (unless there is evidence that other species also feed on these fruits/seeds).

African tulip is a tree native to Tropical West Africa. It was once widely grown in Singapore but because it tends to shed its branches during tropical storms, it is no more seen along roads. However, many still exist in wastelands and areas off the beaten track.

In Hawaii, it is still grown as a wayside tree.

The orange-red flowers are large and attractive, found in erect branches around the periphery of the crown. Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis) and sunbirds also feed on the nectar but Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) collects the nectar in an unconventional way.

The fruits of African tulip are erect, woody flattened pods that burst open to release the many, flattened, winged seeds. The seeds are wind-dispersed and so do not depend on any animals to spread them. However, to discover that Red-breasted Parakeet eats the seeds is interesting. In the process of harvesting the seeds, the bird shake them up in the pod and thus help to disperse them into the air. There is also the possibility of one or a few of the eaten seeds passing through undamaged, thus dispersed some distance from the parent tree.

Tailorbirds have been known to collect the seeds to line their nests.

Mark Chua
Singapore
October 2007

Sunbird and flowerpecker: Pollinating mistletoe flowers

posted in: Feeding-plants, Sunbirds | 3

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Dendrophthoe pentandra is a common mistletoe plant that is semi-parasitic on wayside trees (above left). The mistletoe is spread by flowerpeckers and sunbirds that eat the fruits and excrete the sticky seeds when perching on the branches of shrubs and trees. These seeds are excreted stuck together, as the gummy covering that originally covered the seeds remain intact when passing through the digestive tract.

Now what do these birds do? Some simply wipe their bottoms against the branch to dislodge the seeds. Others use their beak or foot to remove the seeds from the posterior opening. In the process, these sticky seeds end up on the surface of the

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branch where they slowly develop, sending a ‘sucker’ into the host’s tissues to tap water and nutrients. Green leaves develop so that the mistletoe can photosynthesise. It is thus partially parasitic on the host but it can do much damage in the long term.

In due course the mistletoe flowers (above right). These are so-called exploding flowers that need birds to trigger their opening. The images on the left show the Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) with its bill clamped on the flower bud. The pressure exerted on the bud will cause the flower to ‘explode’ and the petals to unfold. This allows the sunbird to insert its tongue into the flower to harvest the nectar.

An earlier post shows the Blue-crowned Hanging Parrots (Loriculus galgulus) harvesting nectar from the other mistletoe, Macrosolen cochinchinensis. As the bill of the parrot is differently constructed from that of sunbirds and flowerpeckers, the parrot needs to get at the nectar from the side of the flower, with the help of its broader tongue.

The images below show a male (left) and a female (right) Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum) among the Dendrophthoe pentandra mistletoe, obviously harvesting nectar. I am sure the birds need to use their bill to force the bud to open before they can get at the nectar, as with the sunbirds. However, I have yet to have photographic evidence.

In all three cases (sunbird, flowerpecker and parrot), the birds assist in the pollination of the mistletoe flowers, bribed by the offer of nectar.

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YC Wee
Singapore
October 2007

Birds, bats and a tembusu sprig

posted in: Feeding-plants, Interspecific | 1

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Early one morning I found a fresh sprig of tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) with ripe berries still attached, on the top of my car’s boot (left). The car was parked under the porch with the rear end jutting out near to where one of my ceram palms (Rhopaloblaste ceramica) grow.

The palms are a favourite perch for many species of birds and any one of the fruit eating birds could have dropped the tembusu sprig. But do birds normally pick a fruiting sprig, rather than picking the fruits individually?

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On the other hand the porch is a favourite roost of the Lesser Short-nosed Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) (right).

The question posed is, was it a bird or a bat that deposited the tembusu sprig on my car? The consensus among the few who are familiar with bats is that it was a bat that was responsible.

Here are the reasons for suggesting bat:

Bats normally bring fruits back to their feeding roost to eat, especially large fruits. With small fruits, the bat usually eat them on the spot. In the case of tembusu whose fruits are small, it is possible that they may be eaten around the tree. However, to collect a sprig with more than a few fruits back to eat saves time and energy.

And are there instances of birds breaking off a sprig of tembusu bearing a few berries to be eaten somewhere else? Have there been any observations of such behaviour?

Is there any evidence of bats breaking off small branches for whatever reasons? Here, I can confidently say that it does happen.

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My porch is a regular roosting site of these bats (above). At first a few came, leaving droppings on the ground below. Then one day a horde of them made themselves comfortable under the porch. And the mess thay left behind every morning could one day be mined for guano. So our helper chased them away. But a few still continue to come. And one or two roosted in the small Dracaena “Song of India” (Dracaena reflexa) tree, taking shelter under my porch whenever it rains (left top).

When these bats first started using the tree as a roost, I found a sprig of the dracaena on the ground below together with a number of fresh leaves (left bottom). Apparently the bats ripped them off the branch to clear a space to roost.

So bats do rip small branches off trees. And the tembusu sprig on my car most probably was left there by a bat.

We would love to hear from birders who have observed birds plucking sprigs bearing fruits to be eaten elsewhere. But then, do birders bother about bats?

YC Wee, Vilma D’Rozario, Yap Kim Fatt & Angie Ng
Singapore
October 2007
(Images by YC Wee)

A time for reflection…

posted in: Reports | 0

It has been two years since the Bird Ecology Study Group was formally constituted. The group’s blog has all along been highlighting various aspects of bird behaviour. To date, there are more than 500 posts involving 27 broad categories from feeding to nesting to inter-specific interactions.

Thanks to the willingness of photographers, birders and the nature loving public at large to share observations and images, the blog has developed into what it is today.

Join us in this talk that will reflect on the past two years of bird behaviour observations, and contribute to how we can move forward – to bring birding to a higher plane.

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YC Wee
Singapore
October 2007

Asian Koel: First recorded begging-call mimicry

posted in: Vocalisation | 3

On 7th October 2007, Erik Mobrand wrote: “For the past few weeks we have had two noisy koels outside our window regularly. What is striking is that these individuals (a female and a male, perhaps juvenile) do not make the typical koel call. Instead, they have this hoarse squawk, which we hear many times during the day – not just at dawn and dusk, when we usually hear koels.

“What is going on? Do young koels try to imitate the House Crows they grew up with? The call has the same rhythm as the House Crow’s. I’ve seen these koels fighting with House Crows.”

We received two snapshots (below) and a video clip the next day and a note: “…We see this koel almost daily now out the window of our fourth floor flat. She sat in this tree calling on and on for perhaps two hours yesterday afternoon. A male making a similar call has also come by, though less frequently.”

Click on the link to view the video clip provided by Erik to hear the strange call: koel-clip.wmv

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The bird in the images above is a female Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea). And Asian Koels have a repertoire of different calls – at least seven loud calls have been reported. The usual call we hear in the mornings and evenings is the ascending loud ko-el-ko-el-ko-el-ko-el-ko-el-ko-el that begins slowly but may become faster with time. Then there is also the loud, harsh kroik-kroik-kroik. These are made by males and usually answered by other males that are around.

Click on the link provided to hear these calls, recorded by Sutari Supari and digitally processed by Wang Luan Keng: asian_koel.mp3

Wells (1999) describes an even-toned woik-woik-woik-woik that is made mainly at dusk, from roosting perches. This call sounds like what Erik recorded in the video. However, therecorded call was made during the afternoon, not at dusk.

Flying fledglings give a loud and harsh kaaa, rather like a young crow, when begging for food from its foster parents, the crows. So far, there is no evidence that juvenile koels imitate crows.

Until now!

Through Wang Luan Keng, the images and video clip from Erik were forwarded to Prof R B Payne, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, the world’s foremost authority on cuckoos. Back came the reply:

“Thanks for sending the cuckoo video. The clip looks like a grown fledgling koel, plumae black with some whitish or buff bands on tail and wing, white spots on the back, and the call is like the begging call of crows.

“The call is like the calls of adult house crows as in the Birds of the Western Palearctic vol 8, 1994, p148, where the description says “food calls of older young a strangled ‘rekk-keck, reckkeck‘” which sounds about right, and the calls of the adults are similar too, in time (0.3-0.8 sec), pitch and frequency envelope (broadband, most sound at 1-2 kHz).

“Other crows in BWP do have words and figures of begging calls of young and the calls of adults – carrion crow has food-begging call of incubating female where the audiospectrogram looks a lot like your koel, and the word description sounds about the same too.

“Some other cuckoos have begging calls a lot like the begging calls of their foster species – African striped cuckoo Clamator levaillantii is the best known.

“I don’t know that a begging-call mimicry has been described for koels – for koels in Australia they say a hand-reared koel at nine weeks old was “a loud, varied, continual dialogue of sharp trills and squeaks akin to ‘wheeet-oop-weeet-wheet-wheeet-op” occasionally interspersed with high pitched screeches. The paper doesn’t show an audiospectrogram of this young bird. – Maller, C. J. and Jones, D. N. (2001) Vocal behaviour of the Common Koel, Eudynamys scolopacea, and implications for mating systems. Emu 101: 105-112.”

Erik Mobrand & Prof RB Payne
Singapore
October 2007
(Images and video by Erik Mobrand)

References:
1. Payne, R.B. (1997). Family Cuculidae (cucoos). Pp.508-607 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. Wells, D.R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. I, Non-passerines. Academic Press, London.

Grey Heron fishing: The one that didn’t get away

The Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) is found around waters, be they fresh, brackish or salt. You can usually see them near rivers, lakes, marshes, mudflats, mangroves and rice fields. The bird feeds mainly on fish, although it also takes aquatic insects, amphibians, reptiles, some birds and even small rodents.

Its feeding time varies with location, either during the day (morning and evening) or at night or around dusk. It is usually a solitary feeder, fiercely defending its territory, although there are cases of group feeding.

Lee Tiah Khee’s dramatic images show how one bird tried to catch a fish but failed in its initial attempt. Undeterred, it succeeded in its subsequent attempt.

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Like most herons, the Grey is a passive feeder, staying still for long periods or moving slowly in the water. The bird was spotted standing still in the shallow water waiting for prey. Apparently it spotted a fish approaching. When it was within range, the bird made a lightning attack, lunging its sharp bill into the wate (above). But it was not fast or accurate enough. The fish narrowly escaped by jumping out of the water (below).

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In a flash the bird had its head out of the water and spotted the fish swimming away. In a split second it lunged at it again and succeeded the second time (below).

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It seized the fish with its bill and picked it out of the water (above right). As it managed to catch it by the head, there was no need to reposition it before swallowing it whole (below).

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As in the case of kingfishers, owls and bee-eaters, the indigestible parts of the prey are eventually regurgitated in the form of pellets…

Lee Tiah Kheee
Singapore
October 2007

A celebration of birds

posted in: Reports | 4

Today is Blog Action Day. All bloggers have been encouraged to set aside this day to write something on a specific theme: Environment.

BESG is celebrating Blog Action Day with a montage showcasing some of the birds that can be seen in a typical urban area – a downtown mini park, the planted areas around a cluster of high-rise apartment blocks, your very own private little garden or the garden around your condominium.

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Singapore’s urban areas are alive with birds and wildlife. Numerous species of birds have made such areas their homes, filling the air with their melodious calls and brightening the greenery with their colourful plumage.

The presence of birds in urban Singapore does not just happen. It is the direct result of more than five decades of continuous tree planting along roads, followed by landscaping the spaces between trees and most open areas.

In fact, we are a virtual Garden City, fast becoming a City within a Garden.

Now how many species can you identify from the above montage?

YC Wee
Singapore
October 2007
(Images courtesy of Johnny Wee, Chan Yoke Meng, KC Tsang and YC Wee)

Ruddy Turnstone and bird ringing

posted in: Migration-Migrants | 2

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On 5th September, KC Tsang reported: “I was at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) this late morning, not very productive as most of the dried ponds were empty of waders, maybe as a result of the tide being low and the birds had gone somewhere else to look for food. There were five Painted Storks, one Milky, one Large-tail Nightjar, usual tailorbirds, one Pied Fantail…

“No Common Kingfisher, no Asiatic Dowitcher…

“…found this one solitary Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) still in breeding plumage, right to the back of the SBWR complex, and by that time, the sun was right overhead, but never mind, the picture should be good for ID purposes (left).

“Now, according to David Bakewell from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this bird has been banded before in Singapore.

“So just wondering how many times has he been flying back to Singapore.

“And from where?”

According to David Li, Waterbird Conservation Officer with Wetlands International, he communicated with James Gan of SBWR and the latter confirmed that this bird was banded at the reserve in December 2006.

David further added: “With your finding, it seems that shorebirds tend to use the same wintering ground if habitat remains unchanged.”

Ashley Ng of the e-group Pigeon-Hole explained: “…the purpose of bird banding is to keep track of their migration path, both timings and routes for their behaviour study.

“…Green top and white bottom is the color for birds ringed in Singapore.”

According to the latest issue of SBWR’s publication, Wetlands (Vol. 14:1, April 2007), a Ruddy Turnstone was banded in 2001 and another in 23006. The earlier banded bird was not recovered but that banded in 2006 returned in September 2007, thanks to SK’s documentation. Obviously no information on where this particular bird came from is available.

For the records, SBWR has so far ringed 1,156 birds from 108 species since it started the exercise in 1990. In 2006 a total of 658 birds from 66 species were ringed.

Images by KC.

Black-shouldered Kite: Mating

posted in: Courtship-Mating | 10

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On the morning of 5th August 2007, Chan Yoke Meng succeeded in recording a series of images of a pair of Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) in the act of copulation. The female bird was perching at the top of a vertical dead stem of a tree when the male flew in from behind (above). Wings fully stretched, tail feathers fanned and talons at the ready, he landed on her back (below).

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The moment he grasped her back with his talons, she crouched low with wings extending downwards below the tail. He had to maintain his balance by flapping his wings (below).

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In a flash he made cloacal contact. It is during this “cloacal kiss” that sperm are transferred from the male’s cloaca into the cloaca of the female. The act was over in less than two seconds (below).

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The cloacal contact caused the male to release his grip on her and he slipped down slightly before projecting himself upwards. All these movements caused the female to stabilise herself with wings outstretched (below).

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With a final flap of his wings, the male flew off with wings fully stretched and feet hanging down, to finally glide away from the female.

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According to the literature, copulation normally takes place at or around the nest site. And copulation can occur up to ten or more times a day for a few days. Prior to copulation, there would be aerial displays and courtship feeding, but these were not observed on that morning.

Subsequently, the pair continued with their nest building activities. Unfortunately there was a murder of crows around. And as with all House Crows (Corvus splendens), they harassed the pair of kites, so much so that the pair may have abandoned their nest building efforts.

Did the kites fly off to look for another nesting site? Away from the aggressive crows and where there is more privacy? Your guess is as good as mine.

Input and images by Chan Yoke Meng.

Flowerpecker excreting mistletoe seeds

posted in: Waste | 1

In an earlier post, Angie Ng described in detail how a male Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum) deposited a string of sticky seeds on her sui mei (Wrightia religiosa) plant thus:

“After comfortably positioning itself transversely across the branch, it turned its head… then it awkwardly stretched apart its legs, lowered its little body for a second or two and with a swagger, it moved a few steps to the left. With that quick swaggering action it wiped off a string of six gluey mistletoe seeds onto the branch of my sui mei.”

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Now, Chan Yoke Meng has documented another behaviour by a female Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker excreting Macrosolen cochinchinensis seeds. These mistletoe seeds were excreted one at a time. Each seed was enclosed within a tough gummy substance that remained unchanged after passing through the bird’s alimentary canal. The seeds were excreted in a string – any one seed attached to the one before and the one after by this gummy substance.

The bird had no difficulty expelling the seeds from the its vent, that is, its posterior opening. The problem was to get rid of the seeds after they emerged. With all the gummy substances around, the seeds remained stuck to the bird. In Angie’s case, the bird rubbed its posterior end on the branch it was perching on.

Meng’s observations show the birds actively removing the sticky seeds with the help of its bill and feet (of course, not using both feet at the same time, ha ha). The action was rapid and he missed documenting the most interesting scenes. However, he managed to record the bird entangled with strands of gum stuck to its bill and feet (see panel above). Two seeds that the bird managed to remove remain stuck to the branch behind it. Note the translucent globs of gum still attached to the seeds.

Earlier posts on mistletoes include accounts on the plants, naturalist’s account, observations of a sometime bird watcher, and pollination by Hanging Parrot.

Chan Yoke Meng
Singapore
October 2007

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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