Black-throated Sunbird feeding on nectar

on 16th October 2009

“The above adult male Black-throated Sunbird (Aethopyga saturata wrayi) is the mate of the female posted earlier. This is possibly the friendliest sunbird I have ever come across – he allowed naked eye viewing at 1 meter. He had finished feeding for the evening on nectar from an orange Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and was just resting. I had a good look and so did he. If only the lighting was reversed but cannot complain when we get such precious moments.

“The friendly adult female on the left allowed me to watch her feeding on the nectar of Fuchsia flowers as noted previously by Loke Wan Tho (Quoted in David R Wells. The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular, Volume 2). She was diligent to visit all the flowers (all varieties of Fuchsia) and pierced the base of the tubular corolla. She is the mate of the male in the top image.

“The Black-throated Sunbird is a well-known nectar feeder. The adult female has to resort to robbing nectar from the flowers of fushsia (Fuchsia hybrida) rather than probing from the top. This is because the sunbird is not adapted for such flowers, fuchsias being not native plants but introduced ornamentals. It is the same with the hibiscus, as the male would have similarly short circuited nectar collection by probing at the base of the flower. By doing so, both birds would not have assisted in pollinating these flowers.

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Perak, Malaysia, 30th September 2009

Note: The images of the Black-throated Sunbirds were taken at Gunung Brinchang, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia at an altitude of 1,700m ASL.

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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