Olive-backed Sunbird: Removal of faecal sac

on 2nd July 2009

It is always exciting to witness an adult Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) arriving at the nest where the chick, with its head sticking out of the entrance, bill gaping wide, begged loudly to be fed. Photographers have always documented such intimate moments, not to mention when the adult inserted its long bill deep in the throat of the chick, as if to place the food morsel right inside the crop.

However, the removal of faecal matter immediately after the feeding has not been always photographed. This time, after the chick was fed and it turned around and offered its posterior end to the adult, Mark G. a.k.a. strobby was ready. When a whitish faecal sac emerged from its vent and the adult gingerly picked it, he documented the moment (left).

The adult flew off to dispose the sac elsewhere so that the wastes do not collect below the nest and attract the attention of potential predators by the smell.

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

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

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