Get in touch if you would like more information about the Group, its activities or if you have something interesting to share/ask. Feedback and suggestions are always welcomed! Please leave your comments here (recommended). You can also email birdecologystudygroup (at) gmail (dot) com, but this is less regularly checked.

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38 Responses

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  2. Hello there, My name is Aly and I would like to know if you would have any interest to have your website here at besgroup.org promoted as a resource on our blog alychidesign.com ?

    We are updating our do-follow broken link resources to include current and up to date resources for our readers. If you may be interested in being included as a resource on our blog, please let me know.

    Thanks, Aly

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  3. Low Chong Yang

    Hi, I have a question. Read a article of using low power red light to watch owl and nightjar. It said that red light will not cause problem to the bird behaviour and eye. Is it true.
    Article read : http://www.owlphotographer.com/index.php/articles/306-night-observation

    Please advise.

    Regards.
    Mr. Low

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  4. Lee Chiu San

    About the article on red light, I cannot speak with any experience regarding watching owls. But I also keep fish. Among aquarists there are “Red Light Clubs”. No, these clubs do not organise visits to Red Light Areas. They comprise aquarists who keep nocturnal fish and whose tanks are mainly illuminated with red lights.
    Many types of nocturnal fish are quite secretive, and will hide when normal lights are on. But they appear to ignore red lights, and will behave as if the lights were not on if only red lights were used to illuminate the tank.
    So it could be quite likely that the same principles apply when observing owls with red lights.
    Finally, why not look into the purchase of thermal sensing goggles. I was given a demonstration some time ago, and it would appear that they would be very helpful in locating and observing warm-blooded wildlife at night.
    Quite a number of sites on the Internet offer such products.

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  5. Hi! I have a question about attracting birds after reading the page on it. I live in a HDB and I’m aware of the basic guidelines regarding plants in the corridor such as not obstructing the walkway, keeping the minimum width of the corridor in mind which is 1.2m, plants can’t be hanged outside the railings and must be within the boundaries. One question I can’t seem to get answered is whether “pot ponds” are allowed in HDB. This would house a small aquatic ecosystem and I hope to attract my neighbourhood’s resident collared kingfishers or other birds for a bath. But the pot will have to be hanged inside of course. Could I have some advice on this? Also I have a nestbox secured outside with my plants, so far the spray millets I put out as well have attracted sparrows. I wish to advance my bird attracting but of course, must follow the rules! Thanks!

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  6. Lee Chiu San

    isaac, it depends on what floor you are living on, your neighbours, and where you live. If you live at about the same level as the leaves on trees, you will have a good chance of attracting birds. If you live on a low floor, or a high floor above tree top level, hardly any birds will come to visit.
    If your neighbours don’t like birds, then I suggest that you give up the idea, because, all birds make some mess. You don’t want to be quarreling with your neighbour. Luckily, mine is the last house on the road, and my neighbour likes animals.
    If your flat is in the middle of the estate, there is not much chance of attracting birds.
    However, if you have a unit at the end of the corridor, and yours is the last block in the estate facing a park or forest reserve, then you have a good chance of having avian visitors.
    That said, I would not think of attracting kingfishers to any HDB area. In all the houses where I have lived, kingfishers only come when there is a fairly large body of water which they can perch over, and target the fish. The kingfisher that raids my aquarium is a long-time resident that first started dining from the ponds where I had deliberately stocked fish for him. It took quite a while to get him to this stage of tameness, and you are not even going to be able to start in an HDB flat.
    There is also a risk that when you start laying out food for the birds, you can attract Javan Mynahs and Pigeons. Feeding of the latter is illegal. You don’t want to get fined!
    If you really want to try to bring birds to your apartment, and live in one that has the right conditions to attract birds, I suggest that you experiment on your private verandah, if you can spare the space where you would normally hang out your laundry. You can do your bird feeding there, and hope to attract Spotted Doves and Black-Naped Orioles, and perhaps even a Hornbill.
    As for a breeding experiment, if a Hornbill comes regularly for food, hang up a big nest box.
    On a far smaller scale, get a couple of large, tall plants, and hope that Sunbirds will come to breed. They did just outside my window on the second floor of my office building, and they might in an HDB flat.

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    • Hi, thank you so much for your reply! I know my neighbours a little well and they don’t mind the extra natural feel, infact , they started planting their own plants! Pigeons never come to any of the corridors of my flat and mynahs rarely do so. I will no longer lay out much food anymore still! I live on the 8th floor, which is about 3 stories above the trees in my neighbourhood. However, my neighbourhood is a pretty wild one with my corridor slightly facing a bunch of huge bushy trees and that lots of birds use the gap between my block and the opposite block as a flight path. I noticed that the collared kingfisher pair always fly past this path, past my floor! I can only pray they would just visit the pond and take a bath Haha! I’m in the Yishun area, so I doubt there’s any hornbills sighted here. Unfortunately I don’t have a private verandah, just this corridor and my house. I plan to hang up several large rectangle pots with plants growing outwards over the railing. Also one or two pots being aquatic! Recently, a white crested laughing thrush visited my house, which I gladly feed the daring bird a mealworm. What a cool experience! I’m really excited about this plan but of course, I have to keep to the rules which, thank you for reminding me! I hope to be able to contact you more about this and seek a little advice. Thank you!

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  7. Lee Chiu San

    Hi Isaac.
    Thanks for the details about your apartment. The Laughing Thrush is a welcome visitor. I have one that visits me very regularly, and he has become quite tame, taking cat food and mealworms readily. There is actually a small flock of them in my neighbourhood, but only one comes to ground level. The rest keep their distance. If the one in your neighbourhood gets the impression that there is always food for him, he will come frequently.
    Don’t be surprised if you see Hornbills in Yishun. They are spreading all over Singapore and have turned up in the most unlikely places, some close to Yishun. Refer to my articles on this website to see how brazen some of them are!
    However, I would have to advise that pots containing water are not a good idea unless they are big enough to contain a fair number of fish. I am also a fish keeper, and advisor to the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital on the maintenance of their water bodies. I can tell you that unless you run a well maintained aquarium, few fish will survive in small bodies of water, and it is extremely unlikely that kingfishers will come to your premises.
    You can also run foul of the National Environment Agency (whose former Chairman knows both our Webmaster and myself quite well) and are likely to end up being fined for creating situations that encourage mosquito breeding.

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  8. Hi,
    Thanks for the info! It will be very interesting to see hornbills in Yishun. I’ve only seen them in pasir ris and pulau ubin! I am a fish keeper as well, running both salt and freshwater tanks. I am aware about the mosquito issue, that’s why I went to seek advice from a SG plant group on FB. They suggested that the fish is already a mosquito solving issue and that I should be placing BTI every now and then. The size of the pots, I would have to consider in order to utilize the space well. It’s okay if the Kingfishers don’t visit as it would be as awesome to have an outdoor small aquatic ecosystem! I’ll try to see what I can do for now. What about attracting birds of prey to HDB houses? Has there ever been such a thing done? I’ve seen those overseas putting up small nest boxes for kestrels and small owls. Wonder if the same can be done for our species. I put a up a small nest box in hopes of any small birds. Will be looking forward to your reply!

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  9. Lee Chiu San

    If you put up small nest boxes you are likely to get mynahs and domestic pigeons. If you put up a very big nest box, then hopefully, very hopefully, you might get hornbills. As I posted on this website, under this link, hornbills do get quite brazen, and have actually come knocking on my window. https://besgroup.org/?s=knock+knock
    And I don’t live very far from Yishun.
    My friend has set up a nest box for hornbills in his garden, and has had them breeding regularly every year. He also feeds them regularly to encourage them to stay around.

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    • Hello!
      Aren’t Columbidae open-nesters? Like they nest in open spaces such as on plant pots. I don’t think a pigeon can fit a hole diameter of around 7cm. Mynahs maybe but both species never comes to my floor, maybe mynahs once or twice a year but its mostly a stop and go. How big of a nest box must I have for a Hornbill and can it fit in a corridor ? I would say the amount of space I have is just above my outdoor shelf, with about more than 1.5m worth of vertical space. Perhaps when I do see them in Yishun near my area, I will give the box a go. Right now, I have a planter of about 2 Heliconia species, 1 rostrata and 2 psittacorum black cherry. So the progress of the corridor garden is so far doing good!

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  10. Lee Chiu San

    Fruit pigeons and most doves are open nesters. But rock doves, and the domestic pigeon Columba liva is a rock dove, nest in holes in cliffs. Which is why they take so readily to city life. Buildings are concrete cliffs, and the crevices in buildings replicate the natural cracks in which they nest in the wild. They will very happily use a nest box.

    Now about the size of the nest boxes necessary for hornbills. You might take a look at the ones shown in the photos and videos which I have posted on this website. They would be about 40 cm square at the base and 50 cm tall.

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  11. Ah I see, thanks for the info! The nest box size of a hornbill is pretty manageable for the corridor. May I know some plant species that attracts birds? Thanks!

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  12. Aquatic/Semi-aquatic ones as well please!

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  13. Lee Chiu San

    One plant that never fails to attract birds, probably even up to your 8th floor apartment, is actually considered a weed – the Singapore Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum). It has rather attractive flowers and edible fruits.

    I have seen flower peckers, sunbirds, buibuls, orioles and green pigeons on the bushes in my garden. Besides those that sprouted up on their own in the ground, I did decide to grow a few in pots. Since they can grow to about two meters in height, they need a rather large pot. But apart from lots of sun, water and good soil, they flower and produce fruits with hardly any attention. You can eat the fruits too.

    Though you are unlikely to find the Singapore Rhododendron for sale in nurseries, you will probably come across it growing wild. There are a lot on the embankments of the Bukit Timah Expressway near the turn-off to Adam Road.

    Young plants survive transplanting quite well. It is also easy to grow from seeds. Just collect a few of the ripe berries (those that have split open) and sow them into soil. They sprout very quickly.

    Our local nurseries sell a closely-related species with more showy flowers from Vietnam. However, I am not sure that they will attract birds. From my bad experiences with beautiful, cultivated plants such as Hibiscus, Lantana and Crinum, commercial nurseries are interested only in producing very showy flowers. With this focus only on the size of the blooms, the other aspects such as the nectar and the fruits have been neglected. Therefore, some of these beautifully impressive plants have nothing at all in them to attract birds.

    As for aquatic plants, I have a mixture in the containers in my garden, but cannot, with any conviction, believe that they will do anything to bring birds to your high-rise home. All the water birds that visit my garden to forage among the plants are ground dwellers. Among them have been waterhens, rails, crakes and herons. Will they take the elevator up to your floor?

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  14. I managed to find Melastoma malabathricum for sale in large numbers at a nursery near me (World Farm) for cheap prices! Yeah, commercial flowering plants grown for events such as CNY, don’t last long too. I should have elaborated a little more on my plant suggestions request! I know herons and other ground dwellers are impossible get here Haha! I am looking for aquatic-semiaquatic plants that perhaps, sprout nice flowers to attract nectar-loving birds or serve as aesthetic purposes to provide a “pond” feeling. I’ve constructed up my pond already too! Love it so much. Just a few swordtails and a crowntail Betta. Along with a small lotus and tiger lotus, amazon sword leaf, moneyworts and pennyworts, a cryptocoryne, water hyacinth and a little duck weed. I would be doing maintenance to trim the plants of course! Or remove if necessary. So far, the birds that have been coming are House sparrows. They used to come alone, but now they come in groups of 3! I hope they check out the nestbox. So far so good thanks to your advices!

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  15. Lee Chiu San

    Isaac, to address some of your points.
    The Melastoma plants that I see for sale in various nurseries are mostly cultivars, not the wild malabathricum. Their flowers are more showy and long-lasting. But I don’t know how many features they have that will still attract birds, namely tasty fruits. Still, you can try them out if they are cheap. If they don’t bring the birds, look for the original wild stock, which is usually available free.

    With regard to your water garden, there is one aquatic plant that in my experience attracts nectar-loving birds. It is Thallia dealbata. There are quite a number of types of Thallia available from nurseries, and I have planted some other types, but so far, only dealbata seems to bring sunbirds on a regular basis.

    But be warned that Thallia can be untidy. They flower profusely and also shed just as profusely. And their foliage is not particularly attractive.

    Thallia need a lot of sunlight to flourish.

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  16. Hi!
    After reading some pdf files on plants by Nparks, I’ve gotten my self perhaps a Ficus carica, Ixora, false heather and soon a Costus woodsonii, all of them seems pretty popular with wildlife, not sure about the fig though. About Thallia, are they normally sold in huge pots with water? Thanks!

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  17. Lee Chiu San

    About the choice of plants, aren’t you rather ambitious in trying to grow a Ficus carica on a HDB corridor? That plant gets to be over 10 meters tall. And if you try to make a bonsai out of it, you may not get many fruits.
    I used to grow various kinds of Ixora, but found that they do not really attract birds.
    By False Heather I assume that you are referring to Cuphea. There are a few plants in my garden. They do attract some butterflies, but I have never seen birds showing any interest. To bring more butterflies, I find that the two best plants are wild Lantana and Duranta erecta.
    The trouble is, there are very few butterflies in Singapore nowadays. Fogging not only kills mosquitoes, but all other insects too. This is not only my opinion, but that of some butterfly experts that I have spoken to.
    And not many butterflies will fly as high as the 8th floor.
    Personally, I have never planted Costus. But my friends have, and there are also many plants in the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where I am a volunteer. I have frequently seen sunbirds taking nectar from the Costus flowers. By the way, the nectar of those flowers is delicious. You should pluck a fresh one and taste it.
    Finally, about Thallia. There are several species of Thallia sold by nurseries here. I have found that of the different types, Thallia dealbata is the best for attracting sunbirds. So the vendor who has Thallia wants to sell you a huge pot, with lots of water? You can negotiate, and buy a smaller root cutting. A cutting with two or three shoots will sprout very quickly if planted in any suitable aquarium substrate (gravel or sand will do just fine) in your home water body. If the location is sunny, within a year, you will have a clump with perhaps half a dozen stalks.
    Be reminded though that each stalk only flowers once, after which it turns brown, and is best cut off and discarded. But each string of flowers does last for several weeks.

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  18. I was planning to get benjamina or consociata but can’t seem to find them and I was recommended carica. Currently it’s a small plant, about 10cm tall? It has 1 fruit now Haha. I’m also into insects, so I would really be happy if Aculeates and other insects visit or stay in my garden, that’s why I set up an critter hotel as well! It currently serves as a nice shelter for moths, beetles, spiders and even geckoes, perhaps more that I’ve yet to see. Solitary wasps such as Chalybion bengalense seem pretty interested in the area. I’ve always paid little attention to Costus until now I realised how important they are to sunbirds and large butterflies. Might you have any experience with Indian(Star) Jasmines? I bought a small pot when it’s recommended to me for it’s great fragance and it does smell nice! By the way, is there another way I can contact you? Perhaps even send you some photos of the plants and visitors etc. Thank you!

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  19. Lee Chiu San

    Isaac,
    you can request my email address from the webmaster of this page. I have no objection to his releasing it to you.
    Now, about the various other Ficus species that you can grow. Let me warn you about benjamina. It either stays small and refuses to fruit, thereby serving no purpose except to shed leaves, or it grows huge and destroys buildings.
    In my old house in Serangoon Gardens, I purchased a benjamina cultivar with variegated leaves. Within three years it was five meters tall. And the invasive roots were all over my drains. I believe that it might eventually have brought the house down, but I moved out before that happened, and the new owner demolished the house, removed all the plants, and rebuilt everything.
    In my present place, there is a benjamina at the very far corner of the garden. This is a huge, very old tree, more than 20 meters tall and with a spread of perhaps 30 meters. Yes, it fruits freely and brings lots of birds. Its roots also crack the driveway and get into the drains.
    And i keep finding small plants growing out of cracks in the walls and roof. If not removed, they will crack the walls. Just for fun, I tried to grow some in pots. They survive, but just will not grow large. And since they are only a meter tall, there are absolutely no fruits. And they shed leaves all over the place. I really have my doubts that Ficus will be suitable for a HDB corridor.
    I have no experience with Indian Star Jasmine, but have grown, and am still growing, the true Jasmine sambuc. It is not in any way an attractive plant, being quite scruffy. Also, it appears that any insect pest that can disfigure plants will try to disfigure the Jasmine. But it is easy to care for, flowers quite freely, and does have a delightful fragrance.

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  20. Hi,
    I guess I’ll just stick with my Ficus carica for now Haha! Might I have any luck attracting birds of prey? Especially owls. I heard that you must establish some frequent visitings from other birds that are prey of BOPs (bird of preys) before having them come. Also what are some suitable for HDB fruiting plants that are attractive to Hornbills and other frugivores? I walked around my neighbourhood and spotted quite a few black naped orioles, a pair of yellow vented bulbuls and asian koels. I find it a pleasant surprise how my area has little to no crows. Perhaps when I get your email I can tell you more about the area!

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  21. Lee Chiu San

    I have to admit that in all my years of attracting birds to my homes, the majority of the fruits that they fed on came from the supermarkets.
    In the houses that I lived in at Sembawang and Serangoon Gardens, I had built several aviaries. Every morning, before leaving for work, I would prepare food for the birds, and also have a little extra for the free-loaders from the wild.
    After retirement, I moved to my present place, where there are no aviaries. But I still serve leftover fruit and vegetables to wild birds.
    If you plant guavas, papayas and bananas with the intention of attracting wild birds, let me state clearly that your harvests will not be sufficient to attract any significant numbers.
    In my present house, the only two trees that bring birds in numbers are the Ficus benjamina and the Australian mulberry, when in season, which is not all the time.
    If you refer to the photos on this website of the hornbills taken in my friend’s house, you will notice that the birds are feasting off platters of fruit. Let me assure you that these fruits all came from supermarkets.

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  22. Got it, I won’t plant fruit trees. I doubt that I have the space too. Perhaps some small tree with a nice fragrance for its flowers to attract Aculeates.Around my block, there’s quite a few large mango trees so I think that’s whats bringing the birds. I think I should organise my garden a little and put the plants on the floor on stands. I’ve a still got space for another row! My Ixora has been quite popular with tiny insects, so that’s a good sign! I’ve also gotten a Petunia, Bird’s nest fern and a Hibiscus too, to add a little more leaves to the garden. I may not get much birds for now, but it’s as interesting to observe the insect and reptile visitors! Really love this hobby.

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  23. Lee Chiu San

    Isaac, you may think it boring, but I tend to go back to tried and tested favourites, whether it is keeping fish, keeping birds, or looking for fragrant plants. Some friends wonder why I still keep platies, tiger barbs, swordtails and other extremely common fish in my aquaria. Also, when recommending pet birds to friends, my default choice is the Cockatiel. The answer is simple. All these species are hardy, easy to care for, and have temperaments that make them suitable as pets. They are not skittish, and respond well to people.
    If a pet is a lot of trouble, after a while, you might decide that the trouble is more than the enjoyment. Which is why, though I have kept, and bred, several of the cool-climate lorikeets from the highlands of Papua-New Guinea, I eventually handed all my stock to a friend who runs a breeding farm. It was too much trouble, in a private house, to mix complicated feeding formulae and keep on ensuring that the birds were kept sufficiently cool so that they did not suffer from the heat.
    The same with plants. My aunt in Hawaii grows fabulous-looking Cattleya orchids. I have done so in Singapore too, but since the normal temperature here is considerably higher than that at my aunt’s home, it requires much more trouble for me to achieve the results that she gets simply by watering the plants and doing little else.
    So I would recommend that if you want fragrant plants, go for those that will do well in a HDB Corridor.
    Which means the very common old favourites.
    I like Jasminum sambac, Clematis, Murraya paniculata and Wrightia religiousa. These are all extremely fragrant, and hardy, though they do demand a sunny location. The last two are free-flowering, perhaps a bit too much so. My nephew had them in his HDB corridor. And the Town Council complained about the shed petals.
    The various Epiphyllums (known locally as Keng Hua) do not shed, and periodically put on spectacular displays at night. There are quite a number of varieties available nowadays. Just make sure that you tell the vendor that you want one that is fragrant. Because some of the latest hybrids coming on the market now have no scent.

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  24. I don’t find that boring at all! They may be common but after all, they are living creatures that serve the same purpose sometimes as their more fragile relatives/look-alikes. One good example in the freshwater aquarium hobby is the golden panchax and the asian arowana. Yes, one’s a killifish and one’s a bonytongue, huge difference in taxonomy and of course, size. If you were to look at the two side by side, they are pretty similar. Both are surface-dwellers, jumps for food, have the frills on their pelvic fins, predatory. The killifish gets to about 10cm or less while the arowana gets to around 60cm, pretty large for a newbie to handle, food-wise too. Even an experienced hobbyist like me would like to try out the thrill of keeping a monster fish such as an arowana, but I always go back to the smaller, more community-friendly panchax since an arowana is really a lot of trouble due to it’s size. Besides, the killifish is pretty beautiful on it’s own! When the river safari was still in works, I managed to visit the tank which now houses the Mekong giant catfishes. It was empty back then but there were a few schools of tiger barbs in there, definitely way more common than the catfish. It was still really enjoyable to watch them swim around the gigantic aquarium which reminds me when I started my own tank with common fish and how I would stare at the tank everyday. I’m also in the carnivorous plant hobby, where highland plants are pretty highly sought after. I have a tank of intermediate-highland plants which require quite a drop in night temperatures and since I didn’t have an aircon back then, I had to put in ice bottles every night and retrieve them the next morning. It is really tedious and since I have school, I sometimes don’t have time to do so. However watching my Heliamphora minor grow really well was quite worth it, until the temperatures just slipped and it got root rot. I pretty much gave up to take a break and move some plants outside which are now growing well outdoors. The highland tank now doesn’t get cooling at all and are doing okay, I think they’re acclimated already. Sometimes it’s more about whether you can keep it and not whether you want to keep it. Sorry for the story Haha! After organising my garden and adding some plants favourite among pollinators, setting up some perches as well. An olive-backed sunbird visited the garden! Along with a yellow-vented bulbul which came to rest. Boy, is it really exciting. I’ll set up a small camera to monitor the garden, also to make sure that playful kids don’t come up to harm anything which happened last night. I’ll check out the plants that you’ve listed, I’ve seen Murraya paniculata at the nursery I go to. I’ll be sure to be updating you on my garden progress. Thanks so much for the advices you’ve given ! 🙂

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  25. Lee Chiu San

    Isaac, now that I know you are also a fish keeper, might I suggest that you visit the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, which is in Yishun, near where you live. Both our webmaster, Professor Wee Yeow Chin, and myself, are advisors to that establishment, and their parent Group, on environmental matters.
    Just beside the public cafeteria is their medicinal garden. Prof Wee is honoured with a board mentioning his contributions to the Hospital’s knowledge of healing and edible plants.
    On the wall beside the staircase outside the cafeteria is a board showing photos of the 100 species of Asian fishes that we have successfully introduced and raised in the premises. It is mentioned as a footnote on the board that I was the advisor of the project.
    NParks and the PUB have allowed the Hospital to play a major role in managing the bird and fish life of both the Yishun Storm Water Lake and the forested area across the road. You will notice that we have floating platforms with bare branches on which fish-eating birds can perch while waiting for prey.
    We have also insisted that the grass by the waterside be allowed to grow long so as to encourage the foraging and nesting of water birds.
    This Hospital project, which both our Webmaster and I have been involved with from just before the Official Opening in 2012 right until today, is proof that it is possible to have an abundance of Nature even in a built-up environment.
    If anyone wants a quick and short birdwatching trip without having to go all the way to Sungei Buloh, I suggest taking a walk around the Yishun Storm Water Pond. It will require only about 45 minutes. You can start and finish at the cafeteria, which provides welcome airconditioned relief. I won’t promise what you can see, but if you are in luck, you may encounter things you never believed could be found so close to a HDB Heartland, a bus terminus and an MRT Station.

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  26. Yes! I’ve visited Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), Yishun pond and Yishun park many times, the latter two to photograph specimens for my blog. In fact, the bird watching tower used to be a favourite hangout spot of me and my friends when we were younger, back when “PokemonGo” was famous, but I was out there also looking for the real deal! I’d have to say I’m quite happy with what I’ve seen so far. I remember seeing a white raptor hunting in Yishun park, I believe it wad a black shouldered kite and perhaps an eagle of some sort flying from tree to tree, looks like a grey-headed fish eagle from memory. Yishun Pond is a nice place and there’s always one large bird there, be it herons or white-bellied sea eagle. I’ve also seen otters and large malayan water monitors there! In the hospital, I always enjoyed looking out for the different fish species and theres also a whitebreasted waterhen family there too! I plan to go visit there again this weekend.

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  27. Hi! My garden has been doing really well. Sunbirds visit the corridor everyday. Looking to plant a little more plants for cover. May I ask, how do I attract dragonflies? I already have a pond with a betta, guppies and swordtails, along with some young which just came into the world. Butterflies have been flying up to my Petunia and Yellow elder but I see dragonflies hovering far away. Not sure what to do.

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  28. Lee Chiu San

    Sorry, but I doubt that there is much you can do to attract dragonflies without attracting officers of the National Environmental Agency.
    Dragonflies, both in the adult and larval stages, are predators. As adults, they hover, frequently over water, to hunt other insects attracted to the water.
    As aquatic larvae, they hunt in the water. They will eat baby fish, but their favourite prey are the aquatic young of other insects. And the most common insect with an aquatic stage in the life cycle is the mosquito.
    I have learned, whether in attracting birds, butterflies or other insects, that food is what brings them to a place.
    No, I don’t think that in Singapore it is a good idea to breed mosquitoes to attract dragonflies.

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  29. That’s okay, I don’t want to breed Mosquitoes haha! I’ve been very diligent in cleaning the area to prevent them. My neighbour’s hibiscus are constantly blooming, which brings in a pair of sunbirds almost every morning. It’s very cool that they fly to my yellow elder as well. The fish in my pond have gave birth to quite abit of fry, some of which I transferred to an indoor setup. I also have been keeping record of whatever visitors coming. My plants are all doing pretty well, the Heliconias are growing offshoots. The diversity is starting to become interesting!

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  30. Gay Tennant

    On a holiday last week my husband and I watched with great joy at a pair of Oriental Pied Hornbills. They were collecting red nuts from a fan shaped palm outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. These birds are just amazing to look at and their ability to cope with such population density! I have been visiting Singapore for a lifetime and this time really provided a spectacle.

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  31. Hello! This is urgent and I am requesting an interview for my school assignment on the Javan Mynahs, before 10 November, as my assignment is due on 15 November.

    I would like to request for a face-to-face interview with any representative from the Bird Ecology Study Group as I think that you guys have the best representative to talk about the Javan Mynahs. I would greatly appreciate your help because you will be able to provide a valuable perspective and insights that cannot be found online and elsewhere.

    Please email me and get back to me soon and I can send the full email with details! Thanks so much!

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  32. Sure. Contact YC Wee at fernnybird@gmail.com

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  33. Hi. A pair of hornbill has been visiting the trees just outside our house, seems to be feeding or poking at a hole in the tree for past few weeks. One of them will feed on cut papaya that we leave on the end of our garden. We tried googling but could not find more information whether hornbills are protected species in Singapore. Should we feed the hornbills? They seems very tame and came near the side of house even when we were sitting there.

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  34. Miriam Kunde

    To whom it may concern,

    My name is Miriam Kunde and I am currently writing a paper on Oriental pied hornbills. I saw an image posted of a OPH breeding couple on your website, taken by Kwong Wai Chong. I would like to use the picture in my paper and would like to know how I can request permission to use it in my publication. Of course, Kwong Wai Chong would be given picture credit.

    Sincerely,

    Miriam Kunde

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  35. Can you provide me with your e-mail address and drop me a note. My address is fernnybird@gmail.com.

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  36. Hi CL Yip – The hornbill is a protected bird as with all other birds (except crows and a few other species). It is better not feed the hornbills – leave them to forage for food on their own.

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