Dusky Broadbill and dragon’s-scale fern

on 18th October 2009

In an earlier post on the Dusky Broadbill (Corydon sumatranus) putting the finishing touches on its nest, it was mentioned that the bird uses the dragon’s-scale fern (Pyrrosia piloselloides) to decorate the outside of its nest. This serves to camouflage the large nest.

Dr Jonathan WK Cheah has now sent in images of the Dusky Broadbill collecting this epiphytic fern (above left). The fern has a slender creeping stem with small, oval leaves (called fronds in ferns). Pieces of the stem can easily be detached from thick mats found on the surface of trunks and larger branches of old trees. The fertile fronds are narrow and elongated, seen in the image on the left (top left corner) with the margins lined with masses of brown spore cases that are packed with tiny spores. Ferns reproduce by spores, not seeds as in seed plants (herbs, shrubs, trees). These spores are released into the air and dispersed far and wide.

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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