Macaranga bancana and spiderhunters

posted in: Feeding-plants | 3

A number of accounts of Macaranga bancana attracting sunbirds, bulbuls and other birds were posted earlier. These observatins were made at Ipoh’s Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve in the Malaysian state of Perak by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS during his forays on 21st and 24th October 2008.

There were three Grey-breasted Spiderhunters (Arachnothera modesta modesta), coming repeatedly to feed over a period of an hour and a half, making a total of about 20 visits. They were rather selective, picking only the ripe fruit (above). Once a fruit was picked, the bird had to “juggle the fruit” so that it went down the long beak and into the throat.

Smithies (1999) and Wells (2007) both report that this spiderhunter takes nectar and insects, although the latter mentions earlier authors reporting seeds in the diet but “These have not been explained as there is no other evidence of a fruit component in the diet of this or any other local spiderhunter.”

The Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra cinereicollis) was also observed twice, a single bird each time. Unfortunately no pictures of feeding are available.

Well, we are providing photographic evidence of a spiderhunter eating fruits.

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Perak, Malaysia
21-24th October 2009

Smythies, B. E., 1999. Birds of Borneo. Natural History Publications & The Sabah Society, Kota Kinabalu. (4th ed., revised). 853 pp.
2. Wells, D.R., 2007. The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London. 800 pp.

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