Bottlebrushes (Callistemon spp.) are shrubs to small trees that were introduced to Southeast Asia from Australia. These are attractive in their colourful flowers that bunch just behind branch tips, looking like bottle brushes, thus the common name. The colours of the flowers are due to the long stamens – mostly red, but there are some that are yellow or green.
Bottlebrushes are popularly grown in gardens, parks and along roadsides in Singapore where they attract many species of birds that visit for the copious nectar that the flowers secrete.
These trees are also popularly grown in Malaysian hill stations where they attract montane birds, as the Streaked Spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna) shown at the top of the page. Other birds that commonly visit the tree include Orange-bellied Leafbird (Chloropsis hardwickii) and Fire-Breasted flowerpecker (Dicaeum ignipectus)
Image of Streaked Spiderhunter by Adrian Lim.
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.