Yong Ding Li, a birder to watch

posted in: Travel-Personality | 8


Yong Ding Li has been looking at birds since he was 12 years old. Now that he is reading life sciences at the National University of Singapore, his knowledge of birds is definitely beyond the plumage. Yes, he started off as a typical twitcher, listing the species he saw and compiling list after list of the different locations he visited – in Singapore as well as in Southeast Asia. To date, he has ticked off 1,217 species, but his recent trip to Sri Lanka has boosted the number to 1,280.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a twitcher. After all, most birdwatchers start off as twitchers. Except Ding Li went beyond twitching and is now observing birds, not just looking at them.

His exposure to academia during the last few years has deepened his appreciation of the avian world. And his knowledge is definitely not confined to guide books only but also to ornithological texts and journals articles. His recent writings reflect this and I refer in particular to his paper on “Bird Species New to Science from Southeast Asia – The Last Ten Years.” I am sure Ding Li will be happy to send you his manuscript if you e-mail him at zoothera@yahoo.com. Check out his website to view his bird writings and drawings – yes, he is also an artist, although he prefers to be known as an illustrator.


Indeed, Ding Li has proven to be a rare birder who is fast becoming an ornithologist in the real sense of the word. That is him above, on the left, with the Himalayan Griffon (Gyps himalayensis) that appeared in Changi on 23rd January 2006. He is currently attached to the Conservation Ecology Laboratory of the Department of Biological Sciences, NUS. He is reading for his Honours degree under the supervision of Prof Navjot S Sodhi, the internationally renowned ornithologist and conservation biologist. Ding Li’s academic interest is avian fauna.

Singapore has only a short history of birdwatching (Wee, 2006). Introduced during the colonial era, the active birdwatchers were then mainly members of the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch) that later morphed into the Nature Society (Singapore). The society then had a loose following of birdwatchers and it was only in 1984 that a formal Bird Group was constituted. The core leaders then were Clive Briffett, Christopher Hails and Sandra Sabapathy. Of these, only Chris was an ornithologist, being recruited by the government to attract birds back to the urban environment.

This newly formed Bird Group initiated activities like annual bird race, water bird census and bird count to attract members. The committee also started the Singapore Avifauna to record bird sightings and updated the checklist of birds. It is heartening to note that all these activities have been faithfully carried out every single year until today.

When Chris left for WWF a few years later, the birding community was led by recreational birders. And stress was naturally on recreational birding, with birdwatchers just looking at birds.

This may at last be changing. Ding Li is now editor of Avifauna, a privately circulated newsletter put out by the Bird Group of the Nature Society (Singapore). Hopefully, this is his introduction to further involvement in the leadership of the Bird Group. Should this happen, there is an excellent chance that the local birdwatching scene would experience new, challenging and innovative activities.

YC Wee
December 2007

(The image of Ding Li was taken from the NUS’s Conservation Ecology Lab website while that of him with the Himalayan Griffon is by Wang Luan Keng.)

Wee, Y. C., 2006. Forty years of birding and ornithological research in Singapore. Birding Asia 5:12-15.

Red Junglefowl at Chek Jawa

posted in: Species | 0

The Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) has been breeding in Pulau Ubin since the later part of 1980s, although it was first sighted in the early 1970s. Since then the bird has been found in a number of locations on the main island, presumed to be escapees, released birds or even arriving naturally from nearby Johor, Malaysia. But Pulau Ubin is still the best place to view the Red Junglefowl, as Margie Hall’s 11th December 2007 account below testifies:


“Had a lovely view today (Monday 10th) of Red Junglefowl coming out from the coastal forest onto the rocky beach at Chek Jawa, around 5.00 pm. Rain had finally stopped and we were walking along the boardwalk and saw one mixed group of Junglefowl come out and then scuttle behind rocks. A bit further up we saw four males all together in a large patch of green seaweed. At first glance I thought they were foraging, but when I got my bins on them I realised the two in the middle were facing each other, with the feathers around their necks raised up and curved forwards, making a big “ruffle”. There was a little bit of backwards and forwards between them and then the one facing the forest drove the other one back into it. We didn’t see those two any more – the other two carried on standing around whilst we went past. Each of them had been standing behind one of the fighting birds, just like a “second” in a duel.

“Another special sighting was two otters lolloping all along the sandbar in the distance, before going into the sea. But we had barely gone down the ladder onto the sand when torrential rain arrived again and we had to beat a retreat. Still, the junglefowl and the otters made it worthwhile. Especially when, given all the early afternoon rain, it had seemed mad even to carry on with the planned trip. Thanks to the NParks guides and volunteer guide who turned out on such a wet day too.”

Input by Margie Hall, images by YC.

The bodh-tree at the Chinese Garden

posted in: Plants | 3

There is a bodh-tree (Ficus religiosa) at the entrance of the Chinese Garden in Jurong and it is figging. And a figging tree invariably attracts flocks of birds – not just birds of a feather but of different feathers. In other words, there would always be a mix of species that come for the feast. The noise these birds generate is enough to attract hordes of birders and photographers.

And it was so with this particular fig tree on the day after Christmas this year. KC Tsang was there and sent in the image above of the Asian Paradise-flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi) perching next to the Coppersmith Barbet (Megalaima haemacephala). KC also filed this report:

“The fig tree near the entrance of the Chinese Garden is fully laden with fruits, not all are ripe, but this has been a great attraction for many kinds of birds, from fruit eating ones to insectivorous birds. The types of birds observed visiting the tree are, fruit eaters: Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis), Asian Koels (Eudynamys scolopacea), Coppersmith Barbets, Yellow-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus goiavier), mynas, and Pink-necked Green Pigeons (Treron vernans).

“The insectivorous birds comprise Asian Paradise-flycatchers, Mugimaki Flycatchers (Ficedula mugimaki), Asian Brown Flycatchers (Muscicapa dauurica), Dark-sided Flycatchers (Muscicapa sibirica) and Arctic Warblers (Phylloscopus borealis).

“The Asian Glossy Starlings would come in waves, taking over the whole tree, but they are observed to be not aggressive to other birds, while the Asian Koels would intimidate other birds and the Asian Paradise Flycatcher would chase the Mugimaki around the tree.

“Coppersmith Barbets are seen to be left alone to do their own things, like eating the fruits quietly.

“All these activities were observed on 26/12/2007, and it will last only as long as there are fruits to be had on the tree, which I believe will last for only a few more days.”

If there are any birders or photographers who are still not aware of this figging tree, hurry to the Chinese Garden before the feast is over.

KC Tsang
December 2007

Hornbill image at Ubin

posted in: Hornbills | 0

The offshore island of Pulau Ubin is a haven for a small flock of Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) that is a major attraction for Singaporeans as well as tourists. These large white-and-black birds with a prominent casque never fail to excite visitors. In fact, many locals are still unaware of the existence of these birds, although a few do occur on the main island (1, 2, 3).


There is a large billboard in Ubin that shows a map of the island with a prominent image of the hornbill in the centre. The map is for the information of visitors but hornbills are also attracted to it – not for the information but because of the large image of a hornbill.

According to Ali Ibrahim, a National Parks Board officer based there, the billboard had to be replaced recently as it was damaged. The culprit? The Oriental Pied Hornbill!

The bird or birds (we are not sure whether one or more birds were involved) regularly confronted the image, pecking at it, so much so that the board was damaged and had to be replaced.


A new billboard has now been installed, no doubt hornbill-proof (above).

We are aware that birds regularly confront the side mirrors of cars as well as windows because they perceive their images to be rival birds (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). We even have an image of an Oriental Pied Hornbill admiring its reflection, taken by Allan Teo (right). However, this is a first local report of a bird confronting a picture.

Ali Ibrahim, Angie Ng & Allan Teo
December 2007
(Image of billboard by Angie Ng, hornbill-reflection by Allan Teo)

Chinese Sparrowhawk

posted in: Raptors | 2


KC Tsang and Johnny Wee were at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on the morning of 15th November 2007 when they were rewarded with the sighting of an uncommon raptor at 1130 hours.

“Had a long walk with Johnny Wee this morning, and found this fellow perching up a bare branch …

Would greatly appreciate if some one can confirm the ID of this bird. The closes I can get is Chinese Sparrowhawk (Accipiter soloensis), but the eye and bill colour is wrong…”

The side shot by KC makes it less easy to identify the bird, if only the frontal is visible…

The distinct yellow-orange cere seen in the image indicates that the bird is an adult – in the juvenile it is yellow-grey to yellow.

This small accipiter is an uncommon passage migrant and winter visitor that has been regularly sighted at various locations during October–November and March. It breeds in Northern China, Korea and Taiwan. During the northern winter, it migrates south to reach Singapore, Indonesia and West New Guinea. The bird makes the return flight during March-mid May.

Ferguson-Lees & Christie (2001) reports that it migrates along two separate routes. The main route is from the Korean Peninsula south along Nansei-shoto through Taiwan and the Philippines to Sulawesi and Moluccas. The other route is from southeast China through the mainland Southeast Asia to Sumatra, Java and Bali.

KC Tsang & Johnny Wee
December 2007
(Image by KC Tsang)

Ferguson-Lees, J. & Christie, D. A. (2001). Raptors of the world. London: Christopher Helm.

Little Heron chick: 11. Intelligence


When I fed the Little Heron ( Butorides striatus ) chick fish in a glass bottle, it tried desperately to peck at the fish from the outside. Obviously it could not know that it was looking at the fish from outside the glass. It kept on pecking at the glass side and getting frustrated with each try.

I managed to urge it to the perch whereby it could look down into the fish inside the bottle. It then picked at the fish one by one from above. However, as soon as a fish was caught, all the rest swam to the bottom. And the bird was not willing to submerge its head into the water to reach them. It was only willing to go as far as the base of its bill and no further.

I then placed the bottle of fish outside the cage and the bird encountered the same problem as it was standing on the cage bottom.

A perch inside the cage was provided in the form of a water-filled plastic container. It immediately perched on the edge of the container and looked into the fish contained in the bottle outside. It surveyed the bottle containing the fish for a while before making its next move (left).

It took some time to decide what to do but eventually it solved the problem. It poked its head between the wires of the cage and dipped its head into the water to get at the fish.

Looking at one of the images, I was surprised to learn that it dipped its head totally into the water to get at the fish swimming at the bottom.

This further proves that the Little Heron is an intelligent bird. An earlier post shows it’s “fishing” trick, using bread tossed into the Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Symphony Lake by visitors to do its very own fishing.

YC Wee
December 2007

The rogue magpie and I

posted in: Feeding strategy | 1

“Murder! Murder!” shouted Shazam, the black caterpillar, as she found herself waffled by a red, giant pair of beaks. She was carried along in a wild goose chase – by whom? She knew not.

I finally caught up with Cicero, the Short-tailed Green Magpie (Cissa thalassina). He was restless and prancing from fern fronds to branches of trees, trying to conceal his big catch and throwing cautious, side glances through his masquerading black, eye band onto a bird wave of Chestnut-capped Laughingthrushes (Garrulax mitratus) while cradling Shazam in his jaws.

“Put me down… put me down!” Shazam screamed.


Cicero was then seen swinging the poor sort dizzy as she came close to being piked onto a thorny bit of tree branch.

“Wait! Wait! I have good grub prospects for you. Hear me before you eat me for breakfast, ok?” Shazam was pleading and sweating away in anticipation of death by torture of a thousand cuts and swallowed whole.

The pirate of the cool, Bornean forest feathered in Yuletide colours decided to release his grip on Cicero onto a branch, leaving the victim dangling on the edge in a daze.

“Ouch! You sure hurt me bad….” Shazam complained looking a bit pitiful yet saucy.

“Now just what you think you are ranting about, my hairy one?” questioned Cicero. He rolled his big eyes at Shazam suspiciously, yet with a little bit of marshmallow look onto his ‘breakfast’. His brain was screaming, “I want my breakfast! I want my breakfast!”

Do you think Shazam, the witty, black caterpillar managed to talk her way out in saving herself from being eaten by Cicero, during this festive season of Christmas like the Fairy Tale story in Thousand and one Night?

Or was Cicero in not engaging the spirit of giving and forgiving, was preparing a gourmet of black caterpillar whilst looking for a high altar to sacrifice poor Shazam-a worm is just a worm?

Cicero’s encounter with Shazam was observed for half hour. They were seen an hour later. Cicero was still toying with Shazam in his beak.

The Short- tailed Green Magpie is like a cousin of the Common Green Magpie, with bold, raiding behaviours. Their large size of approximately 40 cm in length make these species intimidating to small passerines and their overall green plumages make excellent camouflages in forests of high altitudes.


Attached is an image of Common Green Magpie (Cissa chinensis) for comparison (right). Is he trying to meditate himself into invisibility?

Despite their gorgeous bright- red beaks and feet, it is difficult to spot Green Magpies even at close range when they remain still unless their calls give them away. Swift in their inspections and foraging movements, hopping in middle storeys of forests and occasionally on floor, make digiscoping such birds ever so challenging. Yet…observing their rogue behaviours are never dull moments.

This article is written catering specially to include junior readers above 10years of age for which several viewing names have come into mind.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU NIGEL NG, Senior and Junior readers!


Food of the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher


The nesting of at least two pairs of Oriental Dwarf Kingfishers (Ceyx erithacus) in June 2007 in Panti forest, Johor, Malaysia allowed many photographers to document the food habits of this bird, especially the food fed to the chicks.

Irfan Choo is sharing with us his images of the variety of foods brought back for the chicks that include amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans and fishes.

In Singapore, the food fed to the chicks of the Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris) include forest cockroach, beetle, earthworm, centipede and gecko, among others.

A pair of White-throated Kingfishers (Halcyon smyrnensis) was also observed bringing different species of lizards, frogs, insects and even a big spider.

Generally, kingfishers do not necessarily feed fish to their chicks, preferring a wide range of foods, including invertebrates like worms, centipedes, insects, molluscs and crustaceans. They also eat vertebrates like amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

Input and images courtesy of Irfan Choo – www.irfanchoo.com

Artificial nesting cavities for hornbills

posted in: Conservation, Hornbills, Nesting | 6


Hornbills nest in cavities that develop naturally in old and dead trees. These birds are not capable of excavating them, maybe only in enlarging the entrance and the inside. However, such trees are never plentiful in a healthy forest. In urban areas dead trees are not tolerated as they pose a danger to life and limbs. Old trees with naturally developing large cavities are also deemed potentially dangerous. Due to this shortage in nesting cavities, there is always a fierce competition whenever there is one available.

On the offshore island of Pulau Ubin where most of our Oriental Pied Hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris) are found, and there are about 20 birds or so, there seems to be no problem at the moment. With an increase in population, competition for nesting cavities will invariable develop.

Two pairs of these hornbill have moved to Changi on mainland Singapore. They have started breeding, although they have so far been unsuccessful in raising any chicks – see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Limited number of these birds are also found inland (1, 2).

The Singapore Hornbill Project has been experimenting with nesting boxes at the Jurong Bird Park. Because these birds are caged, they are receptive to these boxes and are breeding inside. These boxes are now being tried in Pulau Ubin under natural conditions (top).

In Thailand, nesting cavities are excavated from pieces of tree trunks to specifications, hauled up along the trunk to be firmly attached to the tree (below left). These have proven successful. The image below (right) shows the Great Hornbill (Buceros bicronis) making use of such a contraption to breed.


Input by YC Wee; image of nesting box at Pulau Ubin by Angie Ng, those from Thailand courtesy of Prof Pilai Poonswad, Hornbill Research Foundation.

An eagle called on the Director, SBG

posted in: Collision-Reflection, Raptors | 5


On 13th December 2007 a large raptor, thought to be an eagle, paid a visit to the office of the Director, Singapore Botanic Gardens in Holttum Hall. Dr Chin See Chung was not in at that time and it was just as well as the bird came in by way of the window.

It crashed on the window, breaking one of the glass panels (left). The glass pieces landed inside the room but the bird landed outside. Those who witnessed the crash reported that the bird was huge, some 60 cm long. It was not seriously injured and managed to recover, to fly away soon after.

Dr Chin consulted Teo Chan Seng who thought that it could be a White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) (left top). Morten Strange confirms that it may be so as this sea eagle, mainly the juvenile, occurs in the Gardens. However, Morten believes that it could also be a Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) (left bottom), a bird that is often confused with the sea-eagle.

As Morten adds, “There are many reports of birds flying into glass windows, mainly because they are disorientated or simply think they can pass thru. (More rarely, they might attack a ‘rival’ = their own reflection). We have had Long-tailed Parakeets (Psittacula longicauda) flying into our display windows on several occasions, they are stunned, but they don’t die.

“What is absolutely weird in this case is that the window broke, I cannot recall another case like this, the impact must have been tremendous! It is a wonder the bird didn’t get fatally injured, it would have been great to have a picture of it, but better still that it got up and was able to fly away of course …!”

Dr Chin See Chun & Morten Strange
December 2007
(Image of window courtesy Dr Chin, sea eagle by KC Tsang and kite by John Arifin)

25 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…

  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?

  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!


Leave a Reply to Emily Koh Cancel reply

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

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