Friday 30 June 2023


The purple starling (Lamprotornis purpureus), also known as the purple glossy starling, is a member of the starling family of birds.

It is a resident breeder in tropical Africa from Senegal and north Zaire east to Sudan and west Kenya. This common passerine is typically found in open woodland and cultivation.

The adults of these stocky 22–23 cm long birds have a metallic purple head and body, and glossy green wings. They have a short tail and a yellow eye. The sexes are similar, but juveniles are much duller, with grey underparts and a brown iris.

This is a gregarious and noisy bird, with typical starling squeaks and chattering.



The black-naped oriole (Oriolus chinensis) is a passerine bird in the oriole family that is found in many parts of Asia. There are several distinctive populations within the wide distribution range of this species and in the past the slender-billed oriole (Oriolus tenuirostris) was included as a subspecies. Unlike the Indian golden oriole which only has a short and narrow eye-stripe, the black-naped oriole has the stripe broadening and joining at the back of the neck. Males and females are very similar although the wing lining of the female is more greenish. The bill is pink and is stouter than in the golden oriole.



Blyth's hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus), also known as the Papuan hornbill, is a large hornbill inhabiting the forest canopy in Wallacea and Melanesia. Its local name in Tok Pisin is kokomo.

Previously, this hornbill was placed in the genus Aceros. It has often been lumped with the plain-pouched hornbill (R. subruficollis), and sometimes considered to include the Narcondam hornbill (R. narcondami) and the wreathed hornbill (R. undulatus) as subspecies.

The common name commemorates Edward Blyth (1810–1873), English zoologist and Curator of the Museum of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.

The Papuan hornbill occurs throughout lowland forests, from sea level up to 1,200–1,500 m ASL, in the Moluccas, New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, and as far east as the Solomon Islands. It is the only hornbill species native to New Guinea, and one of the largest flying birds of the region. There have also been rare reported sightings on the Saibai and Boigu Islands in the Torres Strait, Queensland, Australia.

Its diet consists mainly of fruits, especially figs, occasionally supplemented with insects and other small animals.

The Papuan hornbill nests in a large tree hollow in the rainforest, from at least 18 m (59 ft) up to 30 m (98 ft) above the ground. The female is restricted to the nest cavity throughout the incubation and nestling period, being largely sealed inside by plastering up the entrance with a mixture of fruit pulp and rotten wood, leaving only a narrow aperture through which the male feeds her. The clutch size is about two eggs.


The green imperial pigeon (Ducula aenea) is a large forest pigeon. The large range extends from Nepal, southern India and Sri Lanka eastwards to southern China, Indonesia and the Philippines.

This is a forest species which is a widespread resident breeding bird in tropical southern Asia from Nepal and India east to Indonesia. It has several subspecies, including the distinctive Celebes form, chestnut-naped imperial pigeon (Ducula aenea paulina).


A study of mitochondrial DNA of the spoonbills found that the black-faced and royal spoonbills were each other's closest relatives. Out of the six Platalea species within the family Threskiornithidae, the black-faced spoonbill is the rarest.

The black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minor) is a species of wading bird in the ibis and spoonbill family Threskiornithidae, found in eastern Asia. This species has the most restricted distribution of the six spoonbill species, and it is the only one regarded as endangered. Spoonbills are large water birds with dorso-ventrally flattened, spatulate bills. These birds use a tactile method of feeding, wading in the water and sweeping their beaks from side-to-side to detect prey. Confined to the coastal areas of eastern Asia, it seems that it was once common throughout its area of distribution. It currently breeds only on a few small rocky islands off the west coast of North Korea, with four wintering sites at Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam, as well as other places where they have been observed in migration. Wintering also occurs in Jeju, South Korea, Kyushu and Okinawa, Japan, and the Red River delta in Vietnam. More recently, sightings of black-faced spoonbill birds were noted in Thailand, the Philippines, and additional sites in China.



The bar-headed goose (Anser indicus) is a goose that breeds in Central Asia in colonies of thousands near mountain lakes and winters in South Asia, as far south as peninsular India. It lays three to eight eggs at a time in a ground nest. It is known for the extreme altitudes it reaches when migrating across the Himalayas.

The bird is pale grey and is easily distinguished from any of the other grey geese of the genus Anser by the black bars on its head. It is also much paler than the other geese in this genus. In flight, its call is a typical goose honking. A mid-sized goose, it measures 71–76 cm (28–30 in) in total length and weighs 1.87–3.2 kg (4.1–7.1 lb).

The summer habitat is high-altitude lakes where the bird grazes on short grass. The species has been reported as migrating south from Tibet, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia before crossing the Himalayas. The bird has come to the attention of medical science in recent years as having been an early victim of the H5N1 virus, HPAI (highly pathogenic avian influenza), at Qinghai. It suffers predation from crows, foxes, ravens, sea eagles, gulls and others. The total population may, however, be increasing, but it is complex to assess population trends, as this species occurs over more than 2,500,000 km2 (970,000 sq mi).


9-6-2023 MANDAI BIRD PARADISE, SINGAPORE - PAINTED STORK (Mycteria leucocephala)

The painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala) is a large wader in the stork family. It is found in the wetlands of the plains of tropical Asia south of the Himalayas in the Indian Subcontinent and extending into Southeast Asia. Their distinctive pink tertial feathers of the adults give them their name. They forage in flocks in shallow waters along rivers or lakes. They immerse their half open beaks in water and sweep them from side to side and snap up their prey of small fish that are sensed by touch. As they wade along they also stir the water with their feet to flush hiding fish. They nest colonially in trees, often along with other waterbirds. The only sounds they produce are weak moans or bill clattering at the nest. They are not migratory and only make short distance movements in some parts of their range in response to changes in weather or food availability or for breeding. Like other storks, they are often seen soaring on thermals.


9-6-2023 MANDAI BIRD PARADISE, SINGAPORE - MARBLED TEAL (Marmaronetta angustirostris)

The marbled duck or marbled teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris) is a medium-sized species of duck from southern Europe, northern Africa, and western and central Asia. The scientific name, Marmaronetta angustirostris, comes from the Greek marmaros, marbled and netta, a duck, and Latin angustus, narrow or small and -rostris billed. 


The geranium bronze or brun des pélargoniums in French (Cacyreus marshalli), is a butterfly in the family Lycaenidae.
The geranium bronze butterfly is native to South Africa. The butterfly was first introduced to Europe in the late 20th century, where it has quickly spread to many southern and eastern European regions. Since its introduction to Europe, the geranium bronze butterfly has become a pest to cultivated Pelargonium and Geranium plant species. Currently, efforts are being made to contain the spread of the geranium bronze butterflies as well as to determine the most effective pesticide for the species.

30-6-2023 MONTE CORONA, VALENCIA - WAVE MOTH (Idaea mediaria)

Idaea mediaria is a moth of the family Geometridae. It is found in south-western Europe, Corsica, Sardinia, Tuscany and North Africa. The preferred habitat consists of dry and hot areas at elevations from 1,300–1,900 metres (4,300–6,200 ft) above sea level.

The wingspan is 14–19 millimetres (0.55–0.75 in). The adults fly from July to September. 

The larvae feed on various herbaceous plants. 


The mandarin duck (Aix galericulata) is a perching duck species native to the East Palearctic. It is sexually dimorphic; males showing a dramatic difference from the females. It is medium-sized, at 41–49 cm (16–19 in) long with a 65–75 cm (26–30 in) wingspan. It is closely related to the North American wood duck, the only other member of the genus Aix. 'Aix' is an Ancient Greek word which was used by Aristotle to refer to an unknown diving bird, and 'galericulata' is the Latin for a wig, derived from galerum, a cap or bonnet. Outside of its native range, the mandarin duck has a large introduced population in the British Isles and Western Europe, with additional smaller introductions in North America.

The species was once widespread in East Asia, but large-scale exports and the destruction of its forest habitat have reduced populations in eastern Russia and in China to below 1,000 pairs in each country; Japan, however, is thought to still hold some 5,000 pairs. The Asian populations are migratory, overwintering in lowland eastern China and southern Japan.

Specimens frequently escape from collections, and in the 20th century, a large, feral population was established in Great Britain; more recently, small numbers have bred in Ireland, concentrated in the parks of Dublin. Now, about 7,000 are in Britain with other populations on the European continent, the largest of which is in the region of Berlin.

9-6-2023 MANDAI BIRD PARADISE, SINGAPORE - BLUE CRANE (Anthropoides paradiseus)

The blue crane (Grus paradisea), also known as the Stanley crane and the paradise crane, is the national bird of South Africa. The species is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.

Blue cranes are birds of the dry grassy uplands, usually the pastured grasses of hills, valleys, and plains with a few scattered trees. They prefer areas in the nesting season that have access to both upland and wetland areas, though they feed almost entirely in dry areas. They are altitudinal migrants, generally nesting in the lower grasslands of an elevation of around 1,300 to 2,000 m and moving down to lower altitudes for winter.

Of the 15 species of crane, the blue crane has the most restricted distribution of all. Even species with lower population numbers now (such as Siberian or whooping cranes) are found over a considerable range in their migratory movements. The blue crane is migratory, primarily altitudinal, but details are little known.

The blue crane is partially social, less so during the breeding season. There is a strict hierarchy in groups, with the larger adult males being dominant. They overlap in range with three other crane species but interactions with these species and other "large wader" type birds are not known. They are aggressively protective of their nesting sites during the nesting season, even attacking innocent, non-predatory animals such as antelope, cattle, tortoises, plovers and the smallest of birds, such as sparrows. Humans are also attacked if they approach a nest too closely, with the aggressive male having torn clothes and drawn blood in such cases. Threats to their eggs and chicks include large savannah and white-throated monitor lizards, egg-eating snakes, foxes, jackals, birds-of-prey, meerkats, and mongoose.

While it remains common in parts of its historic range, and approx. 26 000 individuals remain, it began a sudden population decline from around 1980 and is now classified as vulnerable.

In the last two decades, the blue crane has largely disappeared from the Eastern Cape, Lesotho, and Eswatini. The population in the northern Free State, Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West Province has declined by up to 90%. The majority of the remaining population is in eastern and southern South Africa, with a small and separate population in the Etosha Pan of northern Namibia. Occasionally, isolated breeding pairs are found in five neighbouring countries.

The primary causes of the sudden decline of the blue crane are human population growth, the conversion of grasslands into commercial tree plantations, and poisoning: deliberate (to protect crops) or accidental (baits intended for other species, and as a side-effect of crop dusting).

The South African government has stepped up legal protection for the blue crane. Other conservation measures are focusing on research, habitat management, education, and recruiting the help of private landowners.



The Australian pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) is a large waterbird in the family Pelecanidae, widespread on the inland and coastal waters of Australia and New Guinea, also in Fiji, parts of Indonesia and as a vagrant in New Zealand. It is a predominantly white bird with black wings and a pink bill. It has been recorded as having the longest bill of any living bird. It mainly eats fish, but will also consume birds and scavenge for scraps if the opportunity arises.

Australian pelicans feed by plunge-diving while swimming on the surface of the water. They work in groups to drive fish to shallower water, where they stick their sensitive bills in to snatch their prey. Some feeding grounds in large bodies of water have included up to 1,900 individual birds. They will sometimes also forage solitarily. Their predominant prey is fish and they commonly feed on introduced species such as goldfish, European carp and European perch. When possible, they also eat native fish, with a seeming preference for the perch Leiopotherapon unicolor. However, the Australian pelican seems to be less of a piscivore and more catholic in taste than other pelicans. It regularly feeds on insects and many aquatic crustaceans, especially the common yabby, prawns and the shrimps in the genus Macrobrachium. This pelican also takes other birds with some frequency, such as silver gulls, Australian white ibis and grey teal, including eggs, nestlings, fledglings and adults, which they may kill by pinning them underwater and drowning them. Reptiles, amphibians and small mammals are also taken when available. Reportedly even small dogs have been swallowed.

Thursday 29 June 2023

9-6-2023 MANDAI BIRD PARADISE, SINGAPORE - MARABOU STORK (Leptoptilos crumenifer)

The marabou stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer) is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae native to sub-Saharan Africa. It breeds in both wet and arid habitats, often near human habitation, especially landfill sites. It is sometimes called the "undertaker bird" due to its shape from behind: cloak-like wings and back, skinny white legs, and sometimes a large white mass of "hair". 


The Indian spot-billed duck (Anas poecilorhyncha) is a large dabbling duck that is a non-migratory breeding duck throughout freshwater wetlands in the Indian subcontinent. The name is derived from the red spot at the base of the bill that is found in the mainland Indian population. When in water it can be recognized from a long distance by the white tertials that form a stripe on the side, and in flight it is distinguished by the green speculum with a broad white band at the base. This species and the eastern spot-billed duck (A. zonorhyncha) were formerly considered conspecific, together called the spot-billed duck (A. poecilorhyncha). 


The nankeen night heron (Nycticorax caledonicus) is a heron that belongs to the genus Nycticorax and the family Ardeidae. Due to its distinctive reddish-brown colour, it is also commonly referred to as the rufous night heron. It is primarily nocturnal and is observed in a broad range of habitats, including forests, meadows, shores, reefs, marshes, grasslands, and swamps. The species is 55 to 65 cm in length, with rich cinnamon upperparts and white underparts. The nankeen night heron has a stable population size, and is classified as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Nankeen night herons have a broad distribution and are found in Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Java, New Caledonia, Palau, and the Caroline Islands, Federated States of Micronesia. They are native to Australia and are widespread in most states of the country except for the west, in which it is rare or absent. Nankeen night herons have six subspecies, which includes the Bonin nankeen night heron (Nycticorax caledonicus crassirostris). 

The nankeen night heron is resident in a wide range of habitats, which includes grasslands, meadows, forests, lagoons, beaches, reefs, marshes, shores, wetlands, and swamps. It is most commonly found near rivers and streams. The species prefer habitats with emergent vegetation when near permanent water. The nankeen night heron is mainly nocturnal, and thus roosts during the daytime in dense cover of trees, bushes, and reeds. In more exposed situations, they are also known to roost in dead trees. In urban areas, the nankeen night heron favours nesting and roosting in trees such as cypresses and pines. They also reside in urban wetlands, dry fields, gardens, ponds, airports, and parks.



The plantain squirrel, oriental squirrel or tricoloured squirrel (Callosciurus notatus) is a species of rodent in the family Sciuridae found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand in a wide range of habitats: forests, mangroves, parks, gardens, and agricultural areas. Fruit farmers consider them to be pests.

Its diet consists mostly of leaves and fruits, but it also eats insects and bird eggs. It is known to break open twigs that contain ant larvae to eat them. It can eat fruits much bigger than itself, such as mangoes, jackfruit, or coconuts.

9-6-2023 MANDAI BIRD PARADISE, SINGAPORE - SUN PARAKEET (Aratinga solstitialis)

The sun parakeet (Aratinga solstitialis), also known in aviculture as the sun conure, is a medium-sized, vibrantly colored parrot native to northeastern South America. The adult male and female are similar in appearance, with black beaks, predominantly golden-yellow plumage, orange-flushed underparts and face, and green and blue-tipped wings and tails. Sun parakeets are very social birds, typically living in flocks. They form monogamous pairs for reproduction, and nest in palm cavities in the tropics. Sun parakeets mainly feed on fruits, flowers, berries, blossoms, seeds, nuts, and insects. Conures are commonly bred and kept in aviculture and may live up to 30 years. This species is currently threatened by loss of habitat and trapping for plumage or the pet trade. Sun parakeets are now listed as endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

Sun conures live in a relatively small region of northeastern South America: the north Brazilian state of Roraima, southern Guyana, extreme southern Suriname, and southern French Guiana. They also occur as vagrants to coastal French Guiana. Their status in Venezuela is unclear, but recent sightings from the southeast near Santa Elena de Uairén have been reported. They may occur in Amapá or far northern Pará (regions where the avifauna generally is very poorly documented), but this remains to be confirmed. Populations found along the Amazon River in Brazil are now known to belong to the sulphur-breasted parakeet.

Sun conures are mostly found in tropical habitats, but their exact ecological requirements remain relatively poorly known. They are widely reported as occurring within dry savanna woodlands and coastal forests, but recent sightings suggest they mainly occur at altitudes less than 1200 m, at the edge of humid forests growing in foothills in the Guiana Shield, and cross more open savannah habitats only when traveling between patches of forest. Sun conures have been seen in shrublands along the Amazon riverbank, as well as forested valleys and coastal, seasonally flooded forests. These conures usually inhabit fruiting trees and palm groves. 


The scarlet macaw (Ara macao) is a large yellow, red and blue Neotropical parrot native to humid evergreen forests of the Americas. Its range extends from southeastern Mexico to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela and Brazil in lowlands of 500 m (1,600 ft) (at least formerly) up to 1,000 m (3,300 ft), the Caribbean island of Trinidad, as well as the Pacific island of Coiba. Formerly, the northern extent of its range included southern Tamaulipas. In some areas, it has suffered local extinction because of habitat destruction, or capture for the parrot trade, but in other areas, it remains fairly common. It is the national bird of Honduras. Like its relative the blue-and-yellow macaw, the scarlet macaw is a popular bird in aviculture as a result of its striking plumage.

A typical sighting is of a single bird or a pair flying above the forest canopy, though in some areas flocks can be seen. They often gather at clay licks. Scarlet macaws communicate primarily through raucous honks; however, vocal communication is highly variable, and captive macaws are known to be adept mimics of human speech.

Wild scarlet macaws feed on fruits, nuts, seeds, flowers and nectar.

They also love to eat insects and larvae. They are seen feeding heavily on bugs, snails and foliage. Snails and bugs are great source of protein, as they need additional protein during breeding seasons.

In Costa Rica's Central Pacific they have learned to feed on introduced Teak trees (Tectona grandis) and Almond Beach Trees. Local non-profit organizations have planted hundreds of those trees along the coastline from the Tárcoles River basin to Esterillos Beach which had helped increase the population drastically. The combined efforts and the correct ecotourism has also an important role in the conservation of such majestic birds. Tour companies along the Tarcoles River and its mangroves have bet on the importance of birdwatching as an asset for the growth on its population.

While comparatively docile at most times of the year, scarlet macaws may be formidably aggressive during periods of breeding. Scarlet macaws are monogamous birds, with individuals remaining with one partner throughout their lives. The hen lays two or three white eggs in a large tree cavity. The female incubates the eggs for about five weeks, and the chicks fledge from the nest about 90 days after hatching and leave their parents about a year later. Juveniles reach sexual maturity at five years of age.

 The South American range is extensive and covers the Amazon forest, extending to Peru east of the Andes, to Bolivia. In Bolivia, it is common in the Aquicuana Reserve, located in the Beni Department, near the city of Riberalta, the Capital of the Bolivian Amazon.

In Central America, the range extends from extreme eastern and southern Mexico and Panama through Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Belize, the island of Coiba and infrequently on the mainland of Panama, and in Costa Rica in isolated regions on the Pacific Coast; the Nicoya Peninsula the Carara National Park and Peninsula de Osa.


The blue-and-yellow macaw (Ara ararauna), also known as the blue-and-gold macaw, is a large South American parrot with a mostly blue dorsum, light yellow/orange venter, and gradient hues of green on top of its head. It is a member of the large group of neotropical parrots known as macaws. It inhabits forest (especially varzea, but also in open sections of terra firme or unflooded forest), woodland and savannah of tropical South America. They are popular in aviculture because of their striking color, ability to talk, ready availability in the marketplace, and close bonding to humans. 


The roseate spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) is a gregarious wading bird of the ibis and spoonbill family, Threskiornithidae. It is a resident breeder in both South and North America. The roseate spoonbill's pink color is diet-derived, consisting of the carotenoid pigment canthaxanthin, like the American flamingo. Plume hunting in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries almost drove the roseate spoonbill to extinction. However, in recent years, the range of the species has expanded.

The bird feeds on crustaceans, bits of plant material, aquatic insects, mollusks, frogs, newts and very small fish (such as minnows) ignored by larger waders. In Brazil, researchers found roseate spoonbill diets to consist of fish, insects, crustaceans, mollusks, and seeds, all foraged from limnetic/freshwater habitats. This habitat specialization, combined with the relative plasticity of great egret foraging behavior, allows the two species to minimize competition during the breeding season. Roseate spoonbills must compete for food with snowy egrets, great egrets, tricolored herons and American white pelicans.[citation needed] Roseate spoonbills are often trailed by egrets when foraging in a commensal "beater-follower" relationship, as the spoonbill's disturbance of the sediment makes prey more available to the follower.