Yellow-vented Flowerpecker eating Indian cherry

on 12th February 2009

Lim Poh Bee sent in this account: “BESG has previously documented how the Orange-bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma) eats fruits of the Indian cherry tree (Muntingia calabura). Recently at Kota Tinggi, my friends and I were lucky enough to witness the Yellow-vented Flowerpecker (Dicaeum chrysorrheum) do the same.

“The attached shots show how the YVF starts with a berry as big as its head (left) and ends up with nothing more than the skin of the berry to be discarded away (below right). The middle shot (below left) even shows the juiciness of the berry leaking out. It must be difficult to do both a squeezing as well as a sucking motion with just the use of one’s mouth and tongue.”

Poh Bee further noted: “There were also some Greater Green Leafbirds (Chloropsis sonnerati) feasting at the Indian cherry trees. Unfortunately I couldn’t get any clear shot nor confirm whether or not they ate using the sqeeze and suck method. But being a much bigger bird and therefore better able to handle the little berries, I guess they may just pop the whole thing into their mouth. Just a guess.”

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

2 Responses

  1. The amusing thing is that that Dicaem erythrorhynchos in southern India is extremely fond of Muntingia calabura and guess what that plant is called here … Singapore Cherry tree !

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