Lam Chun See had a rare visitor in August 2007 when a pair of Blue-crowned Hanging Parrots (Loriculus galgulus) raided his guava tree (Psidium guajava). The birds were feasting on the fruits, giving Chun See a chance to record the visit – see his blog.
These are small, green parrots, about 12 cm long and rather rare in Singapore. The name comes from the prominent blue crown patch in the male, who also has a red throat-patch. According to Wells (2007), the bird rests and sleeps hanging upside down, with both feet tightly clutching the support. When it wants to defecate in such a position, it transfers support to one foot, flexes its body at an angle, raises its tail and shoot.
According to Chun See, “I noticed something interesting about the way it eats the guava. It takes a bite, bends down its head and ‘chews’ for a few second and then spits out what I think are the seeds. I thought birds always swallow the seeds and then excrete them; and thus help to propagate the plant?”
The female bird visited together with a juvenile, recognised by its yellowish bill (adults have black bills) (top).
The juvenile apparently was inexperienced and took a typical “begging” posture with lowered wings that shakes somewhat. It made begging cries all the time, asking to be fed. The female appeared to be ignoring it and continued feeding herself. This no doubt was to encourage the juvenile to learn how to feed itself.
A male, with a distinct blue patch on the crown, visited on another day by himself (left).
Lam Chun See
1. Forshaw, J. M. (2006). Parrots of the world: An identification guide. Princeton & Oxford: Princeton University Press.
2. Wells, D.R. (2007). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London.