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.”
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 !
HaHa – considering that the tree comes from tropical America.