Lineated Barbet’s household chore

on 24th June 2009

Johnny Wee was at Singapore’s Jurong Lake Garden in June 2009 and photographed a Lineated Barbet (Megalaima lineata) bringing fruits to its nest. After feeding the chick, it entered the nesting cavity, cleaned it up and scooped up the trash at the bottom of the cavity for disposal elsewhere.

Barbets keep their nest clean, scooping faecal matters, indigestible fruit remains and hard seeds with their bill and flying off to dispose them away from the nest. Initially the faecal matters may be eaten by the adults as they contain undigested foods. As the chick grows and its digestive system becomes more efficient, the faecal matters are deposited as faecal sacs and carried away to be dropped some distance from the nest. However, we do not generally see the adults picking up these sacs from the posterior end of the chicks as with other species like bulbuls, white-eyes… Most probably the sac is mixed together with the uneaten foods, etc. and carried in the adult’s bill.

Loose wastes are usually mixed with wood chips and carried away. Some excavation of the nest may be necessary to provide the wood chips.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Overall visits (since 2005)

Live visitors
Visitors Today

Clustrmaps (since 2016)