Of nestlings’ diet and Coppersmith Barbets (Part 5)

on 18th March 2009

A change of routine was observed on 7th February, when a pair of Coppersmith Barbets (Megalaima haemacephala) – Day and Nightshift birds were seen late evening together, longer than usual on their favourite perch – the Albizia (Paraserianthes falcataria) tree.

Next morning, there was more rubbish baled out from the nesting cavity. Contents appeared to be more interesting (below left).

By evening, Blowfish now confirmed male was seen in flighty mood of joy- like being touched by an angel. He wriggled and spread his tail in excitement of feeling like a father for the first time (above, from left: 2nd-3rd).

The reward of share-incubating their eggs for two weeks came to light when the pair was seen taking a well deserved break. Perhaps too, pondering how they would take onto the next step in parenthood (above right).

Confirmation of hatching came when female bird- Goggle-Eye flew in with grub in beak. The first feed took place just after 0831 on 8th February.

A total of eight trips alone were made between 0827hs and 1008hs in feeding the hatchings that morning. Both parents took turns to fly in the life supporting manna- figs. Where and how Blowfish and Goggle-Eye found those God favoured fruits, I have no idea as looking for a fig tree with fruits not easy to find these days.

Let’s take a look to see the varieties of fig fruits and berries these frugivorous barbets bring to nourish their young (above).

Are they purely frugivorous or is there an exception to the rule?

When pickings were good, Fieldscope showed first fruit got squashed up first and the second, brought in whole (above right).

And what was rolling out of the tree cavity?

This image shows a parent dispersing avian’s night soil (right bottom).

So far, we have not had a look at the off springs of Blowfish and Goggle-Eye. Let’s first take a look at some sanitary cum sentry duties in the next article, while allowing time and nature to design their off-springs for the finale.
All images my digiscopy technique
Optics used: Fieldscope ED82 +30x + P3

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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