Baya Weaver – Hornets

posted in: Interspecific | 4

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Birds have been known to build their nests in close proximity to nests or hives of ants, bees and wasps. There is an advantage in such a relationship as the nesting birds are generally protected from predators, not so much by ants but more so by wasps.

A number of Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus) nests were recently seen high up the same tree where the lesser-banded hornets (Vespa affinia, Family Vespidae) have built their large nest (right). This nest, built from finely chewed fragments of wood mixed with saliva, has a typically papery appearance, thus it is sometimes known as paper wasp (below).

A social insect, the hornet has a distinct yellow banding on its first and second abdominal segments. It is also the most aggressive of the three species of hornets found in Singapore. It will attack with the slightest provocation and its sting is painful. The effect of the poison injected with the sting depends on the species and how sensitive the victim is to the poison. Response can be localized pain, swelling and redness. In more serious cases chest constriction, wheezing and vomiting may occur. Immediate medical attention is advisable.

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Because of the poisonous nature of its sting and its inclination to attack at the slightest provocation, hornet gives perfect protection to the nesting weavers.

In a study in Ghana, it was shown that the Red-cheeked Cordonbleu (Uraeginthus bengalus) benefited by nesting near the wasp Ropalidia cincta. The chicks of these birds were twice as likely to fledge as those that nest in trees without wasps. Reduced predation was apparently a major reason for increased fledging success. There were four cases of nest predation on 122 Red-cheeked Cordonbleu nests associated with wasps, and 11 cases on 90 nests not associated with wasps.

Text by YC Wee, images by Chan Yoke Meng, wasp identification by Prof Cheong Loong Fah

References:
Beier, P. & Tungbani, A. I. (2006). Nesting with the wasp Ropalidia cincta increases nest success of Red-cheeked Cordonbleu (Uraeginthus bengalus) in Ghana. The Auk 123(4):1022-37.

Gopalakrishnakone, P. (ed.) (1990). A colour guide to dangerous animals. Singapore University Press.

Oriental Pied Hornbill: Guava

posted in: Hornbills | 1

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In early May 2007 an Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) visited Johnny Wee’s garden to raid his guava tree (Psidium guajava). The visit came one afternoon, after a prolonged period of a few days of rain. He was alerted to the presence of the bird by its characteristic call. Peering out of his bedroom window, he was visibly excited to have this large bird paying him a private visit.

The bird was quietly pecking the ripe guava fruits and taking pieces from them. As soon as it had a piece of the fruit at the tip of its bill, it tipped its head back to allow the piece to fall into its throat. Apparently the fruits are too large and possibly too hard for the bird to swallow them whole, unlike with the larger figs.

We now have on record for Singapore of the Oriental Pied Hornbill eating guava fruits and the bird is obviously another dispersal agent.

The guava tree is not native to Singapore (above). It was introduced to this part of the world a very long time ago probably by the Portuguese explorers. This exotic plant has now become naturalised all over the tropics and subtropics, in some places even becoming a weed. And birds play a leading role in its spread.

Once there were plenty of these trees around, especially in our rural farm areas. Nowadays a few may still be growing in private gardens, parks and wastelands. The tree is sun-loving, meaning that seedlings sprout in open areas. It is also fast growing, fruiting within a year or so. It fruits profusely and many birds are attracted to the succulent fruits that are full of numerous, small, hard seeds. These seeds pass through the alimentary tract of the birds to be deposited some distance away. In other countries cattle, horses and even pigs help spread the seeds. And these seeds remain viable in the ground for long periods.

This is another example of an exotic plant that has become useful to our birds.

Johnny Wee
Singapore
May 2007

Olive-backed Sunbird: Nesting misadventure

posted in: Nesting-failed, Sunbirds | 2

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Goh Si Guim tells the sad story of a pair of Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) that nested along the third floor balcony of a private house. The nest was built suspended from a money plant (Epipremnum pinnatum Aureum) growing in a pot that sits among other potted plants (left). To the untrained eyes the elongated nest looks like a mass of dead leaves stuck together with cobwebs. And that was what the residents thought. Until there was frenzy of feeding activities when the chicks hatched…

“Apparently nobody paid any attention to this mass of dried plant matters, never even realizing that it was a sunbird’s nest. It was only when the eggs hatched and the feeding frenzy started that the residents began to take notice of the nest. And of course when the plants were watered, there were angry confrontations with the parent birds.

“Apparently the original nesting began sometime in mid-April 2007. And the chicks fledged successfully.

“In the third week of May there was a frenzy of nest building when the birds got down to raising their second brood along the same balcony. They were actually refurbishing the old nest, adding new materials… By early June the chirping of the chicks were heard.

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“On Monday morning, 11th June, disaster struck:

“In the words of the homeowner: ‘As I was having my breakfast, my thoughts were interrupted by incessant squeaks and tweets. Looking out into my balcony, I noticed the papa sunbird nudging his chick. The chick seemed to have fallen onto the floor and the papa sunbird was trying to move it back into the nest, a near impossible task as the chick was as big as its papa (right bottom).

“’As I went out to investigate, I noticed another chick a few feet away. The nest had given way! (right top). I then saw the mama bird nearby. Both the mama and papa birds were bringing food to their chicks so that they would not get hungry.’

“When the homeowner’s father arrived 15 minutes later, one of the birds had disappeared! ‘Father came and immediately began his rescue mission. Unfortunately, one chick had disappeared.’ It remained unknown whether it fell off the balcony or was snatched by a predatory bird.

“In their haste to start the next family, the maintenance or re-sprucing of the original nest may not have been up to standard. The wear and tear may have not allowed it to sustain the weight of the growing chicks, or it got too crowded and the structure gave way.

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“The remnant of the nest was cut and placed in a plastic dessert bowl. The remaining chick was placed with this makeshift nest, which is then placed partially hidden among the potted plants (above left). It was hoped that the chick would feel secure and familiar near the nest and that the parents would recognise the chick and continue to feed it.

“The homeowner continued: ‘By night fall, the chick had crawled up the nest to sleep (above right). We shall have to wait to see if the papa and mama bird will come back to the chick.’

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“However, the next morning, it was noticed that the chick was silent and was not responding to the calls of the parents (left). It may have been disorientated from being out of the protective comfort of the nest or instinctively chose to remain silent to avoid detection or predation by marauding crows. As the chick did not respond to the parents’ calls, they did not proceed to feed it.

“This did not augur well.

“However, as the homeowner would be at work the whole day, hopefully there would be ample time for the family to get re-acquainted with each other.

“Alas, my premonition was accurate. The chick did not survive the day. It was found lying on its side, motionless, by the homeowner on Tuesday night. The papa and mama birds were on a nearby tree to mourn their loss.”

Goh Si Guim
Singapore
May 2007

Spotted Dove: Courtship?

posted in: Courtship-Mating, Pigeon-Dove | 0

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For the last six months, Johnny Wee had been noticing a pair of Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis) at around noon, especially when the weather was hot. They would arrive to perch along the metal bar that formed part of the boundary fence of his house (left). There, the birds rested, shaded from the hot sun. They stayed for about half an hour each time, silently doing their own comfort activities – not a sound was heard while they were there. There were no flapping of wings, no bobbing of heads and no sign of copulation.

All the birds did was preen. Sitting slightly apart and with feathers fluffed, each bird would indulge in self-preening. Every now and then they would sit close and allopreen. One bird (male? female?) would stretch out and preen the head of its partner, then stretch further across the neck to reach the other side of the head and neck. It is noted that the preening bird often had its eyes closed or partially closed. The bird that was preened had its eyes fully open (below). [Should it not be the other way round?]

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Is this part of the courtship ritual of the Spotted Dove? Or is it a normal bonding activity between a pair of doves? Normally, the onset of breeding would see the birds prospecting for suitable nesting sites before actual nest building takes place. And courtship displays may involved one or more of the following: strutting with accompanying wings-tail movements, feeding and aerial displays. The sad fact is that we are mostly ignorant of what actually happened during this period – I may be wrong here and by all means please prove me wrong. And this bird is relatively common and easy to observe in urban areas. On top of it the bird is easy to recognise from the trademark patch of black and white chequer on the sides of the neck.

Johnny Wee
Singapore
June 2007

Black-backed, Rufous-backed or Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher?

posted in: Kingfishers | 5

In June 2007, Singapore photographers were travelling regularly to Johor, Malaysia to photograph a pair of rare resident kingfishers nesting in the Panti forest. These birds are identified as Rufous-backed Kingfisher (Ceyx rufidorsa) (below). However, comparing the images with that in Robson (2005), the birds from Panti show more black on the wings but not as much as in the Black-backed Kingfisher (Ceyx erithacus). This is also the case in Morten’s (2000) photographic guide.

When shown a couple of the recent images from Johor, Morten commented: “…very dark wings, is that really a Johor bird? darkest resident bird I have ever seen… my pictures from that area have very orange wings…”

The above two guide books treat Rufous-backed and Black-backed as two distinct species. However, Lekagul & Round (1991) in their Birds of Thailand, consider them as a single species.

Now are the birds seen in Panti, Rufour-backed or Black-backed Kingfisher? In other words, are there two distinct species or are the two, variations of a single species? Ornithologists are beginning to agree that there is only one species, with a range of intermediate forms as a result of hybridisation of two subspecies, the black-back and the red-back forms.

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Ripley & Beehler (1987) consider that there are two distinct species; while Sims (1959) as only one species.

The more recent publications have all accepted that there are only one species, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher (Cyex erithacus), with subspecies – erithacus (black-back) and rufidorsa (red-back) (Wells, 1999; Wang & Hails, 2007).

In the treatment of kingfishers for the series Birds of the World, Woodall (2001) similarly treats these two groups as a single species. His justification is that there is widespread hybridisation in the populations in Borneo, Sumatra and south of Peninsular Malaysia, resulting in a wide range of intermediate forms. He believes that the original decision to distinguish two species originated from the population in north of Kuala Lumpur where there is little hybridiation, as the black-backed is migratory.

The evidence is clear that the black-backed and red-backed are just different forms of the same species, Ceyx erithacus or the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher. In Borneo some 80% of specimens show intermediate characteristics to some degree or another (Sims, 1959). And the Panti birds similarly show intermediate characters.

Birders should call these birds Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher.

YC Wee
Singapore
June 2007
(Images Philip Tang)

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Foo Sai Khoon has since sent in the image on the right and commented: “There were at least two pairs of Oriental Dwarf Kingfishers nesting in Panti this year. The feathers of kingfisher are rather special in that they can look slightly different under varying light conditions, due to the way they reflect light. I have enclosed an image of the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher taken at Panti recently for your discussion.

“From my experience, flash tends to bring out the colour of kingfishers making them look more vibrant and perhaps less dark?

“Cheers, Sai Khoon.”
23rd June 2007

References:
Lekagul, B. & Round, P.D. (1991). A guide to the Birds of Thailand. Thailand: Saha Karn Bhaet Co. Ltd.
Morten, S. (2000). A photographic guide to the birds of Malaysia and Singapore. Hongkong: Periplus Ed.
Ripley, S.D. & Beehler, B.M. (1987). Species status of the Malaysian three-toed kingfishers (Ceyx) – a reassessment. Bull. Br. Ornithol. Club. 107:145-51.
Robson, C. (2005). Birds of South-east Asia. London: New Holland.
Sims, R.W. (1959). The Ceyx erithacus and C. rufidorsus problem. J. Linn. Soc. (Zoology) xliv, 296:212-21.
Wang. L.K. & Hails, C. J. (2007) An annotated checklist of birds of Singapore. Raffles Bull. Zool. Suppl. 15:1-179.
Wells, D.R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. I, Non-passerines. Academic Press, London.
Woodall, P.F. (2001). Family Alcedinidae (Kingfishers). Pp. 130-249 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. eds. (2001). Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 6. Mousebirds to Hornbills. Barcelona: Lynx Editions.

Wendy and William T Cooper

posted in: Travel-Personality | 1

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Wendy and William T Cooper were in town around mid-June 2007, arriving from Cairns, Queensland where they live. They were en route to Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra. They will be working as a team, she will be seeking out certain plants and he will be sketching and painting them.

Wendy is well known for her lavishly illustrated book, Fruits of the Australian Tropical Rainforest, published in 2004 (Melbourne: Nokomis Editions). Her husband Bill is the artist responsible for the superb illustrations of the fruits.

Bill is well known in his own right – being an award-winning natural-history artist and illustrator. He illustrated many of the books that Joseph M Forshaw, the internationally renowned parrot expert, wrote over the years. These include Turacos: A Natural History of the Musophagidae; Parrots of the World; Australian Parrots; and Kingfishers & Related Birds Vol. 1: Alcedinidae (Kingfishers) – Ceryle to Cittura.

Bill has also illustrated other bird books like The Birds of Paradise: Paradisaeidae by Clifford B. Frith and Bruce McP Beehler and A Portfolio of Australian Birds by Keith Hindwood.

YC Wee
Singapore
June 2007

Avian Jekylls and Hydes

posted in: Feeding strategy | 4

The subject of social-feeding of wild birds remains controversial. While it is not an immediate death sentence to birds ingesting processed or contaminated and often unwanted food, it is good fodder to lend your ears to the voice of pro-bird activists and conservationists in the advocacy of discouraging such a practice.

This discussion was had in Perth sometime ago during my visit at fall. Tourists were seen joyfully feeding swans and ducks with breadcrumbs, crisps and crackers in the ever bountiful landscaped ponds and rivers of Perth city.

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Theoretically, environmentalists will attest to the fact that as human fingers are not sterile, whatever is handled and fed to birds, especially stale bread mushrooming with fungi, cross-contamination may cause the bird to become infected, sick and eventually death. Yet, the sight of some bird species scavenging in rubbish dumps and bins continues, and seemingly thrive well without any ill consequences (left).

They seem to have the ability to build up body resistance against certain bacteria or develop immunity to these bugs. Species like the House Crow (Corvus splendens) (left top), Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) and Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) (left bottom) in Malaysia are star examples of such tough, wild birds living off humans’ cast offs in residential quarters.

Conservationists will say, that feeding the wild may cause birds to become too dependant on humans’ handouts and complacent to hunt in their own habitat. But I have seen too when feeding stopped, the birds stopped coming.

Most public Squares and Plazas abroad boast of huge flocks of birds, mainly Rock Pigeons (Columba livia). Symbolically, they add character to some well known tourists’ destinations like Trafalgar Square, St Mark’s Square, Red Square and Plaza Mayor in Madrid.

Tiananmen Square in Beijing was an exception. It looked barren and sterile the last time I visited in 1998. If a page of China’s history is turned to Mao’s era, one could read about a decree being carried out to exterminate all wild birds for devouring food grains in provincial villages.

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Villagers were summoned to carry out a continuous bashing of kitchen utensils, clanking up high decibels, sending birds into frenzy and finally collapsing from sheer exhaustion. Dead birds were removed by the lorry loads. A most primitive and cruel execution, I thought.

Well, the story went on …being bird free; a plague of happy, lucky locusts came and finished the rest of the grains and brought on famine and untold human suffering in China.

Birds in tourists’ cities are luckier. They live off tourists who purchase bird seeds from vendors. Their presence contained within specific areas, symbolizes the maturity and establishment of tourism in that country. It is a win, win situation and everyone goes home happy (right).

Despite signboards being placed in designated public areas, giving instructions to abstain from feeding the wild, yet most tourists ignore them.

‘Why?’

‘To give’ is a physical action deriving from the emotional and thought aspect of human beings. Some give freely, others more reserved in whom they choose to give.

A conducive environment that stimulates oneness with nature I believe, plays an important catalytic role to evoke that inner feeling of the art of giving graciously and spontaneously, without expecting anything in return.

I have to confess that I do feed birds when I am a tourist, visiting places abroad, where there are duck ponds or riverside picnic areas. A place where one can find peace, solace and feel the pulse of life in a foreign land. A place, where the breeze is crisp, cool and user friendly to tired souls who are in no hurry go anywhere. While I do observe notice boards abroad, I cannot remember a moment that I’ve ever fed a wild bird under tropical heat like my own country, Malaysia nor have a desire to do so. Isn’t that strange?

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I remembered only too well in my Danish escapes at Copenhagen with my spouse. We came out from a Danish delicatessen shop with a packet of delicious, mouth melting, freshly baked Danish cookies. We found a delightful picnic spot to enjoy with our flask of hot coffee. It wasn’t long before ducks sailed to greet us happily beside the river (left).

We found so much joy, just to see them free and be captivated by their gorgeous plumage. Their innocent eyes sparkled like crystal clear water from where they bobbled. Their presence was like filling in the last piece of nature’s jig-saw to complete a picture of impressionistic art works of Monet’s Lilly Ponds. The act of offering wild birds a gift of tit-bit came spontaneous and amalgamated a therapeutic feeling of goodness into each soul contributing to that grand picture.

We ended up eating only a piece each of the cookie. The rest and of best quality were enjoyed by the ducks as much as the joy they gave us to share and showed us to give with a generous heart.

This feeling is no different from house owners who live alone in retirement villages, hanging out seed bags and bird feeders in their gardens. The joy of seeing and affectionately providing these chirpy birds, paint rainbows into their somewhat mundane and perhaps, lonely existence.

It is interesting to note that birds from developed nations have the ability to feed freely from bird feeders and seed bags while that of developing countries don’t seemed to know how to tackle them.

Well, I guess while humans evolved at different stages, birds do pick after their habits and require training and time to follow suit.

Bird ecotourism – misconstrued to mean, ‘taking tourists to see wild birds in the jungle’ – seems to be in vogue in my part of the country. Many pages can be written on this subject alone, the misconception it brings with it and the way it is being practiced. Promoting sustainable impact tours, with emphasis on care and conservation of bird environment I believe, would be more appropriate.

The inventor of the word, ‘ecotourism’ is probably in a sorry state of despair now to see his invention, meant originally to be of good intentions, got so twisted by a society that has gone greedy. I can only add, the invented name came too early to our shores. The psyche of our society is not quite ready to efficiently handle profitability with responsibility, within the environmental context.

Let me take you to a hill station in Malaysia and bear witness the impact of social-feeding of wild birds and how bird tourism that is ill understood and handled kicks back.

Subject No: 1
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Morgan the pirate – Common Green Magpie (Cissa chinensis) appears at the predictable time of morning from his usual roost – at the far end of a forest edge. He does his rounds, looking for insects, hopping from branch to branch, landing on bougainvillea pots and picking up fresh breadcrumbs scattered generously and purposely by employees of a resort. Morgan settled onto his favourite perch for an early entrée breakfast (above left).

The mascot bird then took to the balcony to survey some biggies, cicadas that had knocked the daylights out of themselves – having executed a kamikaze act onto the glass doors the night before. In his final approach, he craftily took cover under the driveway of the car park to await breakfast leftovers from in-house guests.

When all clear, the avian pirate swooped into the patio breakfast area, perched on the chair for a ‘quick, look and pick’ as shown by the blurry images (above middle and right). One bird may be cute and well tolerated by the management and guests. What happens when birds come by the dozens?

Subject No:2
2224.jpg The Long-tailed Sibia (Heterophasia picaoides) is just about the most numerous amongst the various species seen. While they looked contrastingly charming amongst bottlebrush bushes and mopped up most of the breadcrumbs, their gregarious nature when left unchecked was something else (left).

The minute my breakfast was brought in, a flock of them flew in and perched under the patio canopy. Some were bold enough to close in less than ten feet away and perched on table, others on the back of soiled chairs, to watch me eat my breakfast. I had to eat keeping one eye on them.

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Let’s zoom in and be introduced to my breakfast avian pals:

“Mmm… shall I be a bit civilised and choose a plate?” asks Percival Sibia (above: bottom left).

“Oi! Percy, why bother when you can have breakfast off the ladle!” retorted Samseng Sibia (above: top left).

“For what we are about to receive, we give thee thanks oh Lord. Amen!” echoed triple Sibias- Sarah, Sylvia and Sharon (above: top centre).

“Hurry up! My turn next and don’t gobble that entire halal yoke!” screeched Abdullah, the Long-tailed Sibia (above: top right).

In flew BigEyes the Chestnut-capped Laughing Thrush (Garrulax mitratus) and perched on my camera bag. He screamed out, “You guys better clear out quick. I got this 82mm barrel pointing at me (above: bottom right)!”

“Artery blocker or not, eat first. Choose my cardiologist LATER…” says Duke, the black avian Jekyll (above: bottom centre).

Well… any birding pals care to join me for breakfast with the Avian Jekylls and Hydes in the near future?

SUBMITTED BY DAISY O’NEILL (Avian Writer), PENANG, MALAYSIA.

All images by Daisy O’Neill.

PS: In Southeast Asia there is no tradition of setting up garden bird feeders as is common in the west. The practice of feeding feral pigeons is actively discouraged in Singapore. At the Singapore Botanic Gardens visitors are feeding fishes in the lakes, and seeing that mynas, sparrows and doves are attracted to the bread thrown into the water, are beginning to also feed these birds. Whether this practice is good or bad for the long term has yet to be debated. The above article provides food for thought.

SABAH Adventure (12–22 May 2007)

posted in: Travel-Personality | 0

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KC and I had long heard about the rich wildlife in the Malaysian state of Sabah in Borneo, especially along the Kinabatangan River and Danum Valley, and more recently, the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, so we knew a visit was due as soon as we could make it. As the flights into Sabah made the trip more costly than travel to West Malaysia that we can easily assess with our own vehicle, we thought we should see all the three places in one go. We later found out that many foreign tourists had the same idea, spending about 10-14 days in Sabah, covering the above mentioned areas, plus Mount Kinabalu and Sipidan Island for its perfect diving sites. As expected, there were complaints about the unreliable domestic flights within Sabah, especially those operated by private airlines such as Fax. We learnt that the Fax airlines are to cease operation soon and MAS will take over those routes once again e.g. Lahad Datu to Kota Kinabalu. Hopefully, this will mean more reliable internal air connections within Sabah, enabling easier planning for those whose time and money is limited.

The trip was enriching as we managed to view a fair cross-section of wildlife residing in these areas in the very short space of time that we had. We are certain there would have been a lot more to enjoy if we had the time and money to stay there for a few months! We missed the ‘Borneo Bristlehead’ bird which we learnt is most frequently sighted during the months of July and August. However, we were compensated by the viewing of the Great Argus (Argusianus argus) or Argus Pheasant in the wild. We were informed that their mating season was in April so we missed the dance ritual of these fabulous birds, though the guide showed us two of its dance sites.

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Of the three areas visited, it is difficult to say which is the best from a birdwatchers’ perspective as all three are rich in birdlife. Much depends on your patience and luck in being able to draw out the ‘secrets’ of the birds in the forests. However, if asked to choose, I would opt to return to Danum Valley as it has the most forests and walking trails, and we only covered a fraction of it. For those who want an easy birdwatching time, I will recommend Sukau, and staying at the Sukau River Lodge, as wonderful birds like the Black and Red Broadbill and Scarlet-Rumped Trogon can be sighted even within the vicinity of the lodge. At the back of the lodge, there is a boardwalk enabling easy night walks even on your own, plus a few trails for day exploration. Tabin’s birdlife is also very good, and if you prefer lodgings with air-conditioning (at Sukau River Lodge and Borneo Rainforest Lodge – the eco-friendly lodges, you have fans only), then Tabin can be your choice.

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One last interesting observation to share. In the time that we were there, ie May, we found that it was bright around 5 am and by 6 am it was as bright as 7.30 am in Singapore. We thought that the birds will be very active as early as 6 am, but this did not seem to be the case. The birds seem to become active only from about 7.30 am onwards. We are not certain if what we observed is typical for that time of the year, although the Manager at the Tabin Wildlife Resort said that some Singaporeans had made the same observation when they visited Tabin. The birders in the group charged out as soon as there was light, but no birds or their lively chatter greeted them. Perhaps, this is the life even for the birds… to take it more easy!

List of Birds, Animals and Other creatures/insects sighted by location included the following:

SEPILOK JUNGLE RESORT (stayed 1 night )
The resort has mixed greenery surrounding it. Most of it is cultivated garden, plus some orchards and secondary forest further behind the resort. We only had time for one evening of birdwatching.

1 Blue-Eared Kingfisher (1); 2 White-Collared Kingfisher (1-2); 3 Black-Necked (Dark-Necked) Tailorbird (1-2); 4 Red-Tailed Tailorbird (1-2); 5 Red-Headed (Ashy) Tailorbird (2-3); 6 Magpie Robin (several) – appear to be larger than those seen in S’pore & W Malaysia, also different song – longer and more melodious call; 7 Little Green Pigeon (a good number); 8 Dusky Munia (several); 9 Chestnut Munia (several) also easily seen on the roadside in Sandakan town; 10 Spotted Munia (a few); 11 White-breasted Waterhen, breeding with young – (several); 12 Spotted Dove (several); 13 Barred Ground Dove (a few); 14 Pacific Swallow (several); 15 Olive-backed Sunbird (male & female) (several); 16 Broad-Billed Roller (Dollarbird) (2-3); 17 Oriental Great Reed Warbler (heard only); 18 Yellow-Vented Bulbul (several); 19 Tree Sparrow (a few); 20 House Crows (1-2); 21 Pied Hornbills (2); 22 Black-Naped Oriole (2-3); 23 Crested Myna (several).

SEPILOK REHABILITATION CENTRE
We had a 2-hour long visit with the prime aim of seeing the Orang Utans. Birdwatching was incidental only.

1 Orang-Utans – 5-6 ( adults and juveniles); 2 Black-Naped Monarch Flycatcher (male & female) on boardwalk to Orang Utan display area; 3 Crested Serpent Eagle (1); 4 Common Iora (1-2); 5 Large Egret and Purple Heron (in flight).

TRAVELLING BY SPEED BOAT FROM SANDAKAN TO SUKAU SITED ON KINABATANGAN RIVER BANK (2.25 hrs journey, from 1.30pm to 3.45pm)
Some birds were sighted from the boat as we crossed the bay area outside Sandakan town towards the mouth of Kinabatangan river, and upriver towards Sukau village/vicinity. We passed healthy belts of mangrove forests. The river mouth area was pretty wide so the sighting of birds was not too easy.

1 Green Imperial Pigeon (2); 2 Brahminy Kites (many – all were actively fishing); 3 Large Egret ( many feeding on the mudflats); 4 Crested Serpent Eagles (3); 5 Broad-Billed Roller (Dollarbird) – several perching on trees.

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SUKAU – RIVER CRUISES AND BIRDING AROUND SUKAU RIVER LODGE
(Stayed 2 nights at the lodge ) 14 and 15 May 2007

It rained a fair bit on the evening of our arrival, so the Sukau evening cruise was cut short. The night cruise was also called off because of the high water and danger posed by drifting logs on the fast flowing waters. However, we had good weather days thereafter. Though there was the usual afternoon downpour, it cleared up very nicely after the rain, and the sunset was beautiful in its many coloured hues.

1 Families of Proboscis Monkeys (Endemic): Many were sighted close to Sukau. It was observed that some groups comprised of the Alpha / Dominant Male Proboscis with a few females and juveniles, while other groups comprised of either purely females with juveniles, or all bachelors. The monkeys appeared to be quite healthy. They were not unduly afraid of people, and sat looking back at us in our boats. The Alpha Male Proboscis monkey is out-of-this world. He sat on the tree looking very much like a grand old man with his obvious paunch and erected ‘red chili’ below; 2 Observed one male Orang Utan in the vegetation close behind Sukau River Lodge. The orang utan moved very quietly amongst the trees; 3 Both Silver Leaf Monkeys (Langgurs) and the Long-tailed Macaques were seen in good numbers too along the Kinabatangan river. One unusual sighting was that of a lone Albino Silver Leaf Monkey perched sadly on a tree. According to our guide, an Albino monkey may at times be rejected by its own tribe, becomes an outcast and needs to survive on its own. The one we saw may have suffered this fate; 4 Clouded Monitor Lizard (1) on tree; 5 Black Squirrel – completely black with fairly long tail. (Seen at lodge area. Could not identify from book. Still trying to check); 6 Mangrove Snake or Yellow-Ringed Cat snake (1) curled up on tree’ 7 Striped Bronze Back Snake ( 1 on jungle trail near Ox-Bow river area) 8 Tractor Millipede (many on the floor of the jungle forest trail at Oxbow river area) (below right); 9 Pill Millipede (2) (below left);

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10 Mottled black and grey small frog ( found in room toilet, only about 2-3 inches long, still to be identified ); 11 Black-Naped Monarch Flycatcher – 1 male; 12 Greater Coucal (2) – drying its wings; 13 Maroon Woodpecker (3-4); 14 Scarlet Minivets (male n female); 15 Broad-Billed Roller (Dollarbirds) (3-4); 16 Large Egrets ( many on the shore but not in flocks); 17 Rufous Piculet (1 at lodge area); 18 Common Ioras (several/lodge area); 19 Oriental White Eye (1at lodge area); 20 Scarlet-Rumped Trogon (1) – female asleep on branch/lodge area; 21 Striped Tit Babbler (a few at lodge area); 22 Yellow Breasted Warbler (1-2 around the riverbank reeds); 23 Green Imperial Pigeon (several); 24 Dusky Munias (several, nesting in the Sealing Wax palms within Lodge garden); 25 Black and Red Broadbill (family – a pair of adults and 1 juvenile sighted at Lodge area.); 26 Black-Naped Monarch Flycatcher (in nest at Lodge); 27 Malaysian Blue Flycatcher (family of 3 sleeping on branch, seen on boardwalk behind Sukau River Lodge); 28 Chestnut-Winged Babbler (at lodge area); 29 Yellow-Vented Bulbul (several); 30 Jungle Crow (a few); 31 Olive-backed Sunbird (lodge area); 32 Oriental Darter (several, perched on a high tree with Egrets); 33 Little Spider Hunter (1 at lodge area); 34 Pied Hornbill (several); 35 Rhinocerous Hornbill (2-3); 36 Black Hornbill (2); 37 Storm Stock (1); 38 Jerdon’s Baza (1); 39 Magpie Robin (1); 40 Crested Myna (several); 41 White Chested Babbler (several in flock); 42 Abbot’s Babbler (several); 43 Short-Tailed Babbler (several); 44 Garnet Pitta (heard).

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We travelled on from Sukau village to Danum Valley via Lahad Datu, stopping on the way at the Gua Gomantong Caves. The road was gravely only for the first part of the journey. The road which turned off to the Gomantong Caves cut through a mix of primary and secondary forests, and this turned out to be a good birding area. Sightings of animals, birds and insects included the following:

1 Red Leaf Monkeys; 2 Lantern Bug; 3 Lyssa Mentoetius Moth (several seen in the toilet); 4 Bat Hawk; 5 Black and Yellow Broadbill; 6 Crested Serpent Eagles (many); 7 Rufous Woodpecker (several); 8 Storm Stocks (several, circling in the sky); 9 Black Throated Oriole (male); 10 Black-Naped Monarch Flycatcher (male and female nesting); 11 Large Owl ( brief glimpse as it flew too quickly for identification); 12 Brown-Rumped (Edible-Nest) Swiftlet (many in the Gomantong cave – makes the valuable ‘white’ nests which are collected for consumption); 13 Black-Nest Swiftlet.

At Danum Valley, we stayed at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge (16-18 May) which was a good area surrounded by primary forests with many walking trails. What stood out in the treescape are the many majestically tall and white-trunked Menggaris trees. They were beautiful to behold and their crowns provided a safe roosting spot for birds like the hornbills. We spotted the following animals and birds, some on the night safari.*

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1 Orang Utan (juvenile on road to Danum); 2 Flying Lemur* (One seen licking the sap of a large tree); 3 Mouse Deer* (2) different nights; 4 Barking Deer* (1); 5 Leopard Cat* (1); 6 Pygmy Elephants (2) (heard us and the family ran into the forests so we saw only 2)* E; 7 Civic Palm Cat* (1); 8 Red Leaf Monkey (several); 9 Bearded Pig (1) More or less residing in the lodge compound; 10 Large frilled back lizard* (still to be identified); 11 Dusky Mock Viper snake (?)* (identity still to be confirmed – one on shrub); 12 Buffy Fish Owl (2)*; 13 Brown Wood Owl *(1 – it swooshed down to the ground hunting); 14 Chestnut Wing Babbler; 15 Spotted Fantail (2); 16 Pied Fantail Flycatcher (a few regulars); 17 Argus Pheasant (1 male only); 18 Crested Fireback Pheasant (2 males); 19 White-Crowned Sharma (1) E; 20 White-Rumped Sharma; 21Rufous-Tailed Sharma (heard only); 22 Malaysian Blue Flycatcher (male and female); 23 Oriental Darter (1 sunning itself on a tree by the Lodge river side); 24 White Collared Kingfisher; 25 Stork-Billed Kingfisher; 25 Pacific Swallows (nesting below the Rainforest Lodge); 26 Striped-Tit Babbler (many); 27 Yellow-Vented Bulbul (several); 28 Olive-Winged Bulbul (a few); 29 Red-Headed (Ashy) Tailorbird; 30 Broad-Billed Roller (Dollarbird) (1-2); 31 Olive-Backed Sunbird (1-2); 32 Crested Serpent Eagle (1); 33 Glossy Tree Starlings (several); 34 Long-Tailed Parakeet (a few in flight); 35 Jungle Crow (a few); 36 Crested Myna (a few); 37 Pied Hornbill (2); 38 Rhinocerous Hornbill (1); 39 Black-Capped Babbler (several); 40 White-Chested Babbler (several); 41 Whiskered Tree Swift (2-3); 42 Magpie Robin (1-2); 43 Tractor Millipede (several); 44 Pill Millipede (1).

From Danum, we made our way back by road to Lahad Datu, afterwhich we travelled for another 1.5 hrs to the TABIN WILDLIFE RESERVE, staying at the lodges available at Tabin Wildlife Resort. The track to the Lipad volcanic mud flow was memorable as I obtained some mud to make my beauty face mask whilst KC managed to photograph the Garnet Pitta after listening to its distinctive whistle for some time. The animals and birds seen there during our 3 days’ stay (18-20 May) included the following:

1 Pig-Tailed Macaque ( a whole family –very strong and healthy. Quite fierce – the alpha male made a face at our Manager who said they recognised him!); 2 Leopard Cat (2)*; 3 Common Palm Civet (2)*; 4 Porcupines ( 2 with long white bristles crossing the road )*; 5 Black Giant Squirrel (2)*; 6 Red Giant Squirrel (2)*; 7 Clouded Monitor Lizard (1)*; 8 Wild boars with young ( crossing the road )*; 9 Buffy Fish Owl (1)*; 10 Malaysian Blue Flycatcher (male and female); 11 Garnet Pitta; 12 Striped Tit Babbler; 13 Chest-Winged Babbler; 14 Yellow-Breasted Flowerpecker; 15 Crested Serpent Eagles (several); 16 Green Iora (several – male and female); 17 Blue-Throated Bee Eater (adults and 1 juvenile which looked very greenish); 18 Jerdon’s Baza; 19 Broad-Billed Roller or Dollarbird; 20 Crimson Sunbird; 21 Olive-Backed Sunbird; 22 Black-Throated Oriole (1 female); 23 Black Hornbill (1 – large and very noisy, near the river lodges); 24 Purple-Naped Sunbird; 25 Pied Hornbill (2); 26 Rhinocerous Hornbill (2 – male and female); Rhinocerous Hornbill (4 seen asleep on the tall white-trunk Menggaris tree )*; 27 Velvet Fronted Nuthatch; 28 Yellow-Vented Bulbul; 29 Olive-Winged Bulbul; 30 Buff-Vented Bulbul; 31 Spectacled Bulbul (several); 32 Lesser Leaf Bird (2 – male and female); 33 Oriental Darter (1 – flying through); 34 Red-Headed (Ashy) Tailorbird (several); 35 White-Rumped Sharma (heard only); 36 Jungle Crows (a few); 37 Crested Myna (a few); 38 Asian Paradise Flycatcher – White Morph (1 – male); 39 Black-Naped Oriole (1-2); 40 Magpie Robin (a few); 41 Pacific Swallows (a few); 42 Scorpion (very large, about 8 inches long; bluish-black in colour); 43 1 inch-long pygmy frog (seen at the rock pool when Amy was swimming – still to be identified).

* Night sightings

K C and Amy Tsang
11th June 2007

Malkoha sunbathing

posted in: Feathers-maintenance | 2

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On 4th June 2007 Johnny Wee sent in images of a Chestnut-bellied Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus sumatranus) sunning itself after the morning downpour along the Nee Soon pipeline. This is what birds normally do after being drenched by the rain. Or after a bath. Once dry, the feathers are carefully preened to keep them in perfect condition. Each feather will be passed through the beak to clean it and set the separate filaments back in place. After all, a well maintained set of feathers can mean life and death to the birds. They need to be agile in flight to catch prey and to escape predators.

In an earlier post on a Chestnut-bellied Malkoha sprawled out in the middle of a forest path in MacRitchie, the bird had its wings stretched and tail feathers fanned out. We were wondering then whether it was actually sunning itself or anting as there was no rain earler.

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This recent encounter saw the bird sunning itself on the branch of a tree (above). According to Payne (1997), many cuckoos, including malkohas, need to warm and dry their bodies in the sun once their plumage become wet after the rain. They sit in a high open perch with the wings and tail spread and the back feathers raised to expose the skin to the sun. Once dried, they move on to feed. This behaviour is also seen in coucals.

Johnny Wee
Singapore
June 2007

Reference:
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.

Crested Serpent Eagle: Toad feast

posted in: Feeding-vertebrates, Raptors | 6

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The Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela) is an extremely rare resident of the central forest of Singapore, where it is believed that one to two pairs still survive. However, for the last few years the eagle was barely seen at all. Thus the excitement it generated when the bird was recently sighted.

The eagle hunts from a high perch. It sits still until it spots a potential prey among the grass. The toad probably stayed very still, but with the eagle’s sharp senses, it suddenly lunged down to snatch it from the vegetation. The bird then flew back to its favourite perch in the tree to enjoy its meal.

With the toad held tightly between the talons of its right foot, it used its sharp bill to rip off the skin. The first tear drained the toad of its body fluid, barely visible in the images above (arrow). In the video clip made by Melinda, the draining of the toad was more dramatic as the fluid poured out of the body cavity.

Then the rapid but systematic dismembering of the carcass began. The lifeless body was then held firmly against the surface of the branch by the left foot and piece by piece was torn out and eaten. At one stage the main piece slipped out of the foot and the bird had to manage it with its beak until every bits were eaten, leaving only fragemnts of bones.

It completed its meal in less than five minutes. Satisfied, it carefully wiped its bill on the branch it was perching on (below).

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According to our bird specialist R. Subaraj: “This adult Crested Serpent Eagle hunts reptiles, birds, small mammals… etc. It is the dominant forest raptor of the lowland forests of Malaysia but can also be found in woodlands, plantations, coastal forest and even mangrove there.

“In Singapore, it is almost extinct as a resident with what is believed to be the last pair at Upper Seletar Reservoir Park for many years now… though it has become very difficult to see it now. It is also a visitor from Malaysia, especially during the post-breeding period and there are records from other parts of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Bukit Timah, Sungei Buloh, Pulau Tekong and Pulau Ubin… all believed to be visitors.”

Chan Yoke Meng (images and observations); R Subaraj (comment).

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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