The Dollarbirds (Eurystomus orientalis) were nesting again at the Changi Boardwalk. Constructed from palm stems, probably nibong (Oncosperma sp.), the rotting top portions are favourite nesting holes for these birds. These hole nesters make use of the natural cavities as they are not able to excavate their own. There is an earlier post on the nesting in 2006.
James Wong a.k.a. Jw73 documented the birds bringing insects to the nestlings and are sharing his images with us here (above and below).
According to Fry (2001), Dollarbirds take large insects like beetles, mantises, grasshoppers, shield-bugs, cicadas, moths and termites. The image above (right) shows an adult bird bringing a shield-bug (Cantau ocellatus) to feed its young. Insects are usually caught in flight and brought back to the perch where they are shaken rather than beaten against the branch.
Fry, C.H. (2001). Family Coraciidae (Rollers). Pp. 342-377 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. eds. (2001). Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 6. Mousebirds to Hornbills. Barcelona: Lynx Editions.
All images by James Wong.
This post is a cooperative effort between www.naturepixels.org and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.
On several occasions, the adults were observed to beat the insects against the branch on the perch opposite the pole. Into the middle of the nesting season, a third adult appeared one evening and observed to be interacting gregariously with the breeding pair. In comparison, the chicks fledged relatively sooner than the previous year.
In terms of behavior, each parent bird exhibited a distinctive pattern. One adult would perform a direct approach to bring the food direct to the nest whilst another would perch on the adjacent higher pole to survey the vicinity before dropping to feed the chicks.
Thanks Jeff for adding on to the account of the feeding.