Crimson Sunbird in the rain

on 17th December 2008

On the evening of 19th November 2008, a Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) was spotted perching on a branch of my curry bush (Myrraya koenigii) tree. It was raining heavily and the sunbird was on an exposed branch, moving about, enjoying the rain drops.

As the raindrops fell on the bird, it moved its body about, fluffing its feathers to rinse off excess droplets and at the same time allowing the rain to fall on the inner parts of the wings. At the same time the bird was vigorously preening its feathers.

I was sheltered in my kitchen and managed a few images. It was about five minutes later that it flew off to a nearby palm where it was reasonably sheltered. When the rain finally stopped, I spotted the bird taking a leaf bath – wondering whether it was the same bird.

An earlier post shows the Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) enjoying the rain at the same tree.

Bird regularly bath in pools of water, in the rain, indulge in leaf bathing after rain or after someone waters the plants in the garden. They also indulge in dust bathing and anting – all these in the name of feather maintenance.

YC Wee
December 2008

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.

Other posts by YC Wee

4 Responses

  1. Pingback: Sunbird
  2. Hi,I am staying near pasir-ris townpark.Sunbirds usally visit
    our potted plants with out failure for the past three years.However for about one month none was sighted in your area.Could anyone know the reason.We really miss them

    1. I have at the most 3 sunbirds that have been coinmg to my garden for years now these are the olive-backed and yellow crested ones. Beautiful sing-song voices too! Although I have a bird bath, they prefer to bathe in the water trapped in the large leaves of plants (like orchids) and are always on the lookout whenever I water the plants! they are here every single day!

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