An earlier post gave an account of a Spectacled Spiderhunter (Arachnothera flavigaster) collecting nectar from the flowers of the banana plant (Musa) by Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman
Now, he has photographed a Little Spiderhunter (A. longirostra) collecting nectar, also from banana flowers (above). NOTE: According to R Subaraj (see comment), the bird in the three images above is a Grey-breasted Spiderhunter (Arachnothera affinis).
The images on the left shows a Little Spiderhunter’s tongue extending beyond the tip of the bill. As with sunbirds, the tongue of a spiderhunter is also a closed tube along the major part of its length.
Spiderhunters feeding on nectar from various flowering plants is well known and extensively recorded. But feeding on spiders is not often documented. After all, these birds are called spiderhunters specifically because they are supposed to feed on spiders.
Much is not known of their animal foods and these need to be observed and documented.
Sorry not to comment on this earlier but was away. Looking at the photos, the row of three photos together is different from the one at the bottom. The latter shows what seems to be indeed a Little Spiderhunter.
However, the row of three photos of a spiderhunter at the banana flower actually shows a Grey-breasted Spiderhunter (Arachnothera affinis). The lack of black eye-streak and white throat combined with the olive upperparts and grey underparts indicate this species.
Thanks for pointing my mistake Subaraj.
The picture was taken at the same “jantung pisang”, at the same day, but at 11 minutes interval.
The above picture (the 3 in a row) taken at 5:04pm, and the bottom one earlier at 4:53pm, so I thought it was from the same bird.
No worries! Now you have good photo records of two species of spiderhunter that feed on the same banana flower.
Bird Ecology Study Group Animals attracted to the Banana inflorescence
[…] which are birds like the Spectacled Spiderhunter (Arachnothera flavigaster) that feed on the nectar LINK and the White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) that feed on the ripening fruits […]