Nectar harvesting and pollination by spiderhunters

posted in: Feeding-plants | 2

Calvin Chang a.k.a. deswitch documented two species of spiderhunters at Bukit Tinggi, Malaysia, harvesting nectar from flowers. The image above (left) shows a Streaked Spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna) on an ornamental banana plant (Musa ornate). That on the right shows a Little Spiderhunter (A. longirostra) on a ginger plant. In both, the bill of the spiderhunter is covered with whitish pollen. As they visit one flower after another, they effect cross pollination.

According to Gill (2007), a flap covers and protects the nostrils of some birds, especially diving and flower-feeding species. The former needs to keep out water while the latter to keep out pollen from entering their nostrils.

Images by Calvin Chang.

Gill, F. B., 2007. Ornithology. W. H. Freeman & Co., New York. 758 pp.

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.


2 Responses

  1. […] Streaked Spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna) and a Little Spiderhunter (A. longirostra) were shown with their bills dusted with pollen in an earlier post. This was the result of the birds collecting […]

  2. […] will find an eager audience … in pollination; however, it goes well beyond pollination to draw …Bird Ecology Study Group Nectar harvesting and pollination …As they visit one flower after another, they effect cross pollination. … Pingback by Bird Ecology […]


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