Jimmy Tan a.k.a. skylark was at the Panti Forest Reserve in Johor, Malaysia recently and caught sight of an adult male Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker (Prionochilus thoracicus) eating a fig. He posted his images in NaturePixels and is sharing the above with us all.
Joseph Lai and Angie Ng identified the fig as brown-scurfy fig (Ficus consociata).
Figs are a favourite food with birds. The best known fig tree in Singapore is the waringin (Ficus benjamina) at the summit of Singapore’s Bukit Timah. And during every fruiting period for the past so many years, there would be myriads of birds attracted to it. This in turn attracted and will continue to attract, birdwatchers without fail: see HERE.
The only regret is that most of our birdwatchers are “listers” meaning they simply make a list of birds visiting the fig tree. And they do this year in and year out. These lists are conspicuous in their total absence of any critical assessment of the events. Details like how the different species of birds take the figs – whether they swallow them whole, take bites off the figs or squash them before eating – are simply ignored. Similarly, how the different species interact and behave around the figging tree do not interest birdwatchers: see HERE
Despite a challenge to birders to be more critical in their observations, made in October 2006, we have yet to see any bird behaviour reports on figging trees: see HERE.
Isn’t it time local birdwatchers do more than mere listing? Bird photographers are currently at the forefront of such observations. The above image by Jimmy should spur birdwatchers to break out of the 20-year stranglehold!
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.