Velvet-fronted Nuthatch

on 8th November 2008

The Velvet-fronted Nuthatch (Sitta frontalis) is a common resident in Peninsular Malaysia. In Singapore it is a non-breeding visitor, first reported in the mid-1996 in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. It was reportedly sighted a few more time in subsequent years.

The image reproduced here of a male bird, photographed in Malaysia in August 2008, are courtesy of Adrian Lim, a.k.a. wmw998.

“This nuthatch surprised me, as I didn’t expect it to be found at such low altitude. Not very good shots, the bird moved like a wound up toy, and I just could not get good eye contact.

This nuthatch is usually found on the trunk and main branches of lowland rainforest trees, even up to the lower montane forests. It forages by probing and prying bark fragments, moving at all angles. It is common to see it upside down on a branch. Wells (2007) reports that probably “most food is taken direct from surfaces; but none has been identified.

The tree the Velvet-fronted Nuthatch is on appears to be giant mahang (Macarange ginantea).

Wells, D.R. (2007). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London.

Image by Adrian Lim. Tree ID courtesy of Ali Ibrahim and Prof Richard Corlett.

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

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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