Nesting of Little Heron

posted in: Heron-Egret-Bittern, Nesting | 0

Mark Chua came across the nest of the Little Heron (Butorides striatus) in July 2006, built about 10 metres up in a tree. There were actually three nests around, of which only one had two chicks in it. An adult bird was perching nearby, keeping an eye on the nest and chasing away birds that came too close. In due course the other adult returned with food to feed the growing chicks.

The Little Heron is a common resident that is found around muddy coasts, mangroves, swamps, in fact anywhere there is water. It breeds more or less throughout the year. The nest is a simple platform of loose twigs, lodged between branches of a tree around its watery habitat. A full clutch consists of three greenish blue eggs and usually all the chicks fledge. Both parents help in incubation and looking after the chicks.


According to an account by Ria Tan, the chicks remain in the nest until they fledge. Only when disturbed will they scramble out and cling to branches. The rescued chick described earlier could had been dislodged from the nest because of disturbance.

In the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, nests are often seen in buta-buta trees (Exocaecaria agallocha) around mangroves, at a height of about 5 metres. In a 2000 article published in Wetlands, RK Ramakrishnan reported seeing two chicks in the nest covered with yellow downs. They started “moving around the tree in their newly attained plumage of dull brown upperparts, streakier and less mottled lower parts” two weeks later.

Mark Chua
December 2007

Ramakrishnan, R.K. (2000). Nesting Little Herons of Sungei Buloh. Wetlands 7(2):

Asian Koel swallowing palm fruit

posted in: Feeding-plants | 1

An earlier post reported the Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) swallowing the fruits of the Alexandra Palm (Archontophoenix alexandrae), to subsequently regurgitate the seeds.

Now, Kevin Lam of Nature Spies has managed to document the stages of the bird swallowing the palm fruit (left).

“By a stroke of luck I managed to capture this series of a female Asian Koel swallowing a large Alexandra Palm fruit! Actually, I could have been luckier and gotten group shots. I was drawn to the loud calls of the birds (yes pural) as there were two males vying for her attention. Strangely it was her that was doing all the calling. It was quite a cacophony of resounding bird calls. At first I had assumed it’s the males vying for attention from a potential mate. However, it seems like the female was more interested in food.

“The whole thing was so fascinating for me. Ha but apparently there are others who are quite angry with the calls of the koel in their estate and wish them gone. I would think Koels are the least of our noise pollution. Buses have deafening beeps promptly declare to the entire bus that you have paid your fare. I really can’t fathom why.”

After the bird swallows the fruit, it would regurgitate the seed after a short while. Well, Kevin’s next challenge is to photograph a koel regurgitating a palm seed.

Kevin Lam
December 2007

Little Heron chick: 7. Teaching it to “hunt”

The Little Heron (Butorides striatus) has grown after 17 days of care and feeding. It is now able to feed on live guppies, mollies and goldfishes like an expert, manipulating them so that the head is swallowed first (left).

However, the feeding on live fishes placed inside a dish in the safety of a cage is far from the conditions that it would be exposed to when released.

I was reminded of this by Victor Lee when he wrote: “…try getting a larger body of water, i.e. a bigger dish, maybe one of those large water tubs. Put in tree branches, dried leave litter, etc. Basically create little areas where the fishes can hide. Don’t put in too many fish at a time and if possible, use fast swimming guppies/mollies type and not slow moving goldfishes. This will make it a little more difficult for the bird to hunt for it’s meal and more realistic. Try also a combination of food, tadpoles, small frogs, even earthworms or crickets.”

My limitation is the size of the cage. I can have a crude miniature landscape using a small basin filled with water, definitely not a large water tub.

Dr Gloria Chay added: “Remember to give the heron it’s vitamins still 1-2 times weekly, stuffed into the gut of dead fishes. Vitamin ADE and B complexes are important. Feathers look good, next step would be to allow it to bathe to waterproof itself. Shallow tubs would suffice from now. Make sure it doesn’t stay on wire caged flooring for too long, otherwise Bumblefoot (abscessed feet) will develop, and it’ll need to learn to perch on tree stumps etc. Mice are hard to find, otherwise it’ll make a nice meal during rehab. Unless you can get day-old chicks (killed). Other live meals include crickets and the super-worms to stimulate hunting.”

Well, I added a perch as suggested and the bird took to it after an initial period of suspicion. Previously it perched on the edge of the dish containing the live fish. Now, it is on the perch all the time, reaching down into the dish for its food. It even used the perch to clean its bill.

Unfortunate I don’t have a large enough cage to simulate outside conditions. My cage can only take in a small basin where the live food can be places together with water weeds and floating leaves.

I tried earthworms placed in the water (below). The bird managed to pick it up but each time the worm slipped out of its bill. I fed it small frogs, newly developed from tadpoles (bottom left). The bird simply loved them, picking them up expertly and swallowing them. The presence of limbs no doubt helped. The frogs were spared when they remained motionless but the moment they moved, they were eaten. It also took to crickets, catching one after the other by their thin legs but often not able to manipulate them for swallowing (bottom right).



I am currently feeding it small, fast moving guppies, placed in the water with floating leaves to provide cover for the fish. The bird is now working hard for its food, spending most of the time perching motionless except slowly extending its neck to locate the fish.

The bird sometimes drank by pushing its bill along the water surface. At other times it simply dipped its bill into the water. When fed crickets, it drank more often. When offered a piece of fish left at the bottom of the cage and thus a little dried out, it had difficulty manipulating it with its bill and tongue. What it did was to dip the piece into the water and tried again. This it did a few times until it managed to channel it into its oral cavity.

YC Wee
December 2007

Drongo taking insects on the wing

On 13th November 2007, Kevin Lam of Nature Spies alerted me to the excellent images posted by Calvin Chang in ClubSnap. Through the good office of Kevin, I got in contact with Calvin who graciously gave me permission to post his images in Multiply.


It was evening at the summit of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and it had just stopped drizzling when Calvin Chang aka De’Switch was witness to a termite hatch. A hatch is when the reproductive termites emerge from their mounds to fill the air with their presence. The sexes will couple in the air to then land on the ground, shedding their wings and moving on to start a colony of their own.

During this hatch there would be an orgy of feasting by a mix collection of birds and later the ground will be covered with a carpet of discarded wings. No doubt, most of the termites will be food for birds but there would be many survivors to propagate the species.


As Calvin reported, there were numerous termites (it could be the tail end of a hatch) in the air and there were three Greater Racket-tailed Drongos (Dicrurus paradisus) partaking in the feast. The lighting was definitely not ideal for photography, not to mention the black birds against a darkening background. And there was an inconsiderate jogger who cared only for his jogging and care not that an exciting natural event was unfolding in front of his eyes. So the jogger simply jogged on despite a request to hold on, chasing the birds away as a result.

Despite all these setbacks, Calvin still managed to get a few excellent shots that I am showcasing here. And this is the first time I have seen images of drongos actually catching insects on the wing.

Input and images by Calvin Chang aka De’Switch; Kevin Lam of Nature Spies alerted BESG on the initial posting of the images.

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo following woodpeckers

Gloria Seow was walking along Rock Path at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve on the morning of 11th November 2007 when she spotted two Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradisus). What attracted Gloria to the drongos was that they were behaving like woodpeckers and nuthatches – clinging onto a vertical trunk of a dipterocarp tree and nibbling at what she thought was greenish white growth on the trunk’s surface (below).


“Both drongos used their tail as an additional prop, similar to what woodpeckers would do, but they had trouble keeping up this unnatural yoga position for long and had to fly off frequently to a nearby branch to perch and rest before resuming their vertical balancing act. These drongos improvised too, clinging on sideways or even upside down at times. Has anybody ever witnessed such a curious act? And pray tell, what are they nibbling at?”

Haniman Boniran responded: “Yes I have witnessed this behavioural patterns in GRT Drongs before. A few times I was along Mandai Lake Road and along the roadside there are many trees that the drongos use as a feeding station. They would perch exactly how you described them and used the tail as additional support. There is a pair of resident along that stretch. I can’t identify the tree but its rather common along Mandai Lake Road. The birds would feed on exposed or rotting tree, boulders and ant/termite nests on the trees. So far I have spotted them feeding in this manner twice. Both times in the evening around 5-630 pm.

“This is also the location where the Changable Hawk Eagle (Spizaetus cirrhatus) snatched the Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans) I was releasing sometime back.”

KF Yap thinks that it is the lichens that the drongos were after, either as food or nesting materials.

Susan Wong of Malaysia similarly witnessed such behaviour in the drongo at the Penang Botanical Garden. She recalled seeing a pair clinging on the trunk of an old, big tree, moving up and down very fast. At times they they spread their wings using their tail to support them. “It was a very strange scene to me and until today I have yet to understand what are they trying to do. I do recall noticing their vertical perch with wing spread out on a tree trunk – they did it very clumsily because their toes are not like woodpecker’s.”


Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (left) often follows foraging woodpeckers, malkoha and arboreal squirrels. The drongo benefits from the invertebrates that the woodpeckers flush out. The drongo in the above account may have been following a woodpecker or it may have been collecting lichens or even bark fragments for nesting materials.

A recent study by a pair of researchers at the Pasoh Forest Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia reported the frequent association among various species of woodpeckers and the Greater Racket-tailed Drongo in the lowland forest. When a woodpecker landed on a tree trunk, the drongo would perch on a nearby horizontal branch just below it. The drongo often sallies forth for a flushed arthropod. When the woodpecker moves to another tree, the drongo followed.

The drongo on the tree trunk reported by Gloria may be going for an insect flushed by a woodpecker. It may also be collecting nesting materials.

Gloria Seow, Haniman Boniran, KF Yap & Susan Wong
December 2007
(Images: top by Gloria Chow and below by Chan Yoke Meng)

Styring, A. & Ickes, K. (2001). Interactions between the Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus and woodpeckers in a lowland Malaysian rainforest. Forktail 17:119-120.

Flocking of Long-tailed Broadbill

posted in: Feeding strategy, Miscellaneous | 1

During the last weekend of November 2007 at Peninsular Malaysia’s Fraser’s Hill, Pamela Lim was witness to an exciting phenomenon involving the flocking of “hundreds” of Long-tailed Broadbills (Psarisomus dalhousiae). The video posted in You Tube by Tee Lian Huat mentions about 60 birds in one tree. When queried, Pamela admitted that “the hundreds were my description in excitement as I saw flock upon flock flying up from the depths to one tree. The number 60 plus is just a conservative estimate. They flew to the next tree, and then flew away. The second wave had about 30. We don’t know if it’s the same flock or not.”

The image above shows a few of the flocking birds taking a rest on the leafless branches of a tree.

Long-tailed Broadbill is a distinctive bird with a yellow face, slender green body and long blue tail. It’s high-pitched call usually announces its presence, but whether you can spot it is another matter. It usually hides among the foliage of trees.

Many broadbills are gregarious and are often seen in small flocks. They even join mixed-species flocks when these bird waves pass through their foraging areas. The Long-tailed has been reported to form noisy foraging parties of about 15 birds during non-breeding periods. In the Indian Subcontinent, as many as 40 birds have been reportedly seen together. This observation of a pure Long-tailed Broadbill bird wave of probably more than a hundred birds in Fraser’s Hill may well be a record.

According to Wells (2007): “During at least a part of the year birds also form monospecific bands whose collective movements through foliage, climbing among creepers, etc., are likely to benefit surface-snatchers by the disturbance created.” However, no number is mentioned.

Pamela Lim
November 2007

1. Bruce, M. D. (2003). Family Eurylaimidae (broadbills). Pp.54-93 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Christie, D. A. eds. Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 8. Broadbills to Tapaculos. Barcelona: Lynx Editions.
2. Morten, S. (2004). Birds of Fraser’s Hill: An illustrated guide and checklist. Singapore: Nature’s Niche.
3. Wells, D.R. (2007). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London.

Little Heron chick: 6. Reaction to threat

posted in: Heron-Egret-Bittern, Rescue | 1

The Little Heron (Butorides striatus) chick rescued from the Bukit Timah campus, responded to handling by lunging at the perceived threat. The sudden lunge with its large and pointed bill, together with the loud keek-keek-keek was enough to intimidate any predator (left). And for some time I was intimidated. The few times it’s bill hit bull’s eye caused only a harmless poke.

As the chick grew older, it lunged with an even larger gape (below). The sudden


lunging of the wide open bill, now with a larger gape accompanied by a loud scolding was an even more effective deterrent – and I can vouch for that.

Initially I was intimidated by the ferocity of the chick’s reaction. Gradually, I realised that the peck was harmless but the action still had its effect. Together with the large, flapping wings, the chick gave the appearance of being larger than it actually was (right). This, of course, is how a harmless chick deals with potential predators.

About a week later, when the bill was better developed, the bird simply lunged without and scolding. And when the bill hit its target, it was only a slight pinch rather than a poke. The image above was taken on 26th November, with the bird puffing up, neck held back and ready to lunge.

And since the early scolding, I have yet to hear a squeak from the bird, except when it was handled for ringing and weighing. And I cannot help but wonder why?

YC Wee
November 2007

A feast of flowers: Bulbuls and starfruit

posted in: Feeding-plants, Plants | 2


On the evening of 30th October 2007, I was alerted to the call of a Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) that regularly visit my garden. It continuously made a high pitch wit-ti-waet. Normally, they would perch on the fronds of my two tall ceram palms (Rhopaloblaste ceramica). This time the call came from another location. It was from my starfruit tree (Averrhoa carambola ) (above). Trying hard to locate it, I went under the tree and imitated the call until I located its position. The bird returned my call and continued perching where it was, even when it noticed me below, not more than a metre-and-a-half away.

About half an hour later the call was again heard. This time there was at least a pair of the Red-whiskered Bulbuls. Together with this pair were half a dozen or so Yellow-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus goiavier).

The birds were busy moving rapidly from one branch of the tree to another, pecking at something that I thought were ants. Looking at the birds through a pair of binoculars, I soon found out that they were actually plucking flowers and flower buds off the branches and swallowing them (above: Red-whiskered left, Yellow-vented right).

All this time the Yellow-vented were not making any calls and only the flapping of their wings was heard as they moved around the crown of the tree.

This was the first time I have seen either of the bulbuls in the tree, not to mention seeing them eating the flowers and the buds.

The next afternoon I again heard the call of the Red-whiskered. This time it was alone. Again I imitated its call until I located where it was. It was perching by a bunch of flowers and actively picking and swallowing flower buds. At times it moved along the branch, pecking around its feet, no doubt picking ants. Soon, its call attracted another bird, but I was not able to see whether it was a Yellow-vented or another Red-whiskered.

The Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) can often be seen gleaning insects. And the Tanimbar Corellas (Cacatua goffini) visit the tree when it bears young fruits.

Input and images by YC.

Common Ravens at play

posted in: Miscellaneous | 1

Corvids (crows, ravens, jays, nutcrackers and magpies) exhibit the most complex play behaviour.


The Common Ravens (Corvus corax), the largest of the corvids, exhibit play catching, flight play, bathing play, vocal play, hanging, games, allospecific interactions, sliding and snow-romping.

As with most behavioural traits in birds, these are all described from the west. So far, limited play observations have been described from Asia. Brazil (2002) reported raven play in Hokkaido, Japan in winter, indulging in sliding and rolling in snow or snow-romping.

In October 2007, Lin Yangchen observed the evening play of Common Ravens on a small hill overlooking a village (4,400m a.s.l.) on the Tibetan plateau.

These include one flying like “a stealth bomber (left top), another “about to jettison a sheep’s horn” to subsequently land near where it fell on the ground (left bottom). The bird approached the horn but the presence of tourists scared it off. The birds were also gliding “in the way children race down the street on bicycles” (left middle).

He also documented them hanging from the overhead wires with one or both feet, or even by the tips of their bills, then indulging in free falls. The birds could even execute a 360-degree sideways roll in aerial acrobatic (below left) or indulge in “levitation” as Yangcheng aptly describes it (below right).


Input and images by Lin Yangchen.

Brazil, Mark (2002). Common Raven Corvus corax at play; records from Japan. Ornithol. Sci. 1:150-2.

Little Heron chick: 5. The bird has been ringed

posted in: Heron-Egret-Bittern, Rescue | 0


On 14th November 2007, our field ornithologist Wang Luan Keng (above right), came over to ring the chick of the Little Heron (Butorides striatus) (above left) 12 days after its rescue. The ring is inscribed “Sungei Buloh Nat Park F0028” (left).

The bird was weighed (175g) and measured (bill length 50.4mm; tarsus 42.1mm; wing length 145mm; and tail 38mm). It is to be noted that the wing and tail feathers are still coming in.

Details of the bird was also noted: primary feathers 10; secondary feathers 16; tail feathers 5 pairs; iris lemon yellow; outer eye ring black; tarsus and toes yellow-green; soles yellow; upper mandible pinkish blue, darker at the tip; lower mandible paler.

Ringing was done on the earlier suggestion of the Singapore Zoological Gardens’ Curator (Zoology), Douglas M Richardson that the chick should be rung above the “knee” and not around the “ankle” so that it may be identified later.

Wang Luan Keng
November 2007
(Images by YC Wee)

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:

  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!


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