Common Tailorbird’s food menu

on 16th September 2008


On 10th September 2008, KC Tsang was in the field keeping watch on a pair of Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) flying in and out of the nest to feed the chicks. The birds flew to a perch some distance from the nest, looked around, then when all was clear, flew directly to the nest (left). The birds did not pose for him with the food – they moved around fast and KC had to act just as fast, missing many opportunities and spending a total of about three hours in the field.

He was impressed by the diversity of food brought to the nest, as shown in the images below (left to right, top to bottom row): moth, spider 1, bug, spider 2, spider 3, bee, termite, caterpillar and grasshopper.


“It seems that the tailorbirds’ preferences of food items for feeding their chicks, or themselves remains mainly insects of various types, from houseflies, and other flies, bees, spiders, grasshoppers, termites, some form of bugs, and others that I have missed capturing …

“It was observed that both parents would go about collecting food items for their two chicks, and they seem to be pretty efficient about it, returning to the nest at about five to fifteen minutes intervals. Besides feeding the chicks, fecal sacs were removed at about the same time to some far away place.

“These pictures are highly cropped to show the types of insects taken, thus some pictures are slightly blurred…”

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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