Crimson Sunbird feeding at spider’s web

posted in: Feeding-invertebrates, Sunbirds | 1

“The Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja siparaja) is described as more common near the coast but has increasingly been seen inland. I find it quite common inland in the surrounding areas of Ipoh, especially at the Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve (up in Kledang hill or in the trails in the forest) as well as in secondary jungle/semi-cultivated land in the Tambun interior. I believe it is still very localised inland but extending.

“In literature, Wells (2007) noted it as insectivorous (thought to take spiders but not confirmed), and also feeds on nectar at base of flowers.

“I have seen it feed on the flowers/fruit of the semi-parasitic mistletoe, on invertebrate/larvae and piercing the base of Hibiscus flowers for nectar. More often at the, Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, I spotted it foraging in trees for insects – either spiders or pupae.

“Was fortunate to finally get photographic evidence of it robbing a spider’s nest of ?baby spiders.

“It is a consummate flier and can hover beautifully in the air while feeding off a spider web.

“The picture above shows the hovering sunbird while feeding (note the branch near feet is quite anterior and not touching bird) and an intent search for spiders (web hard to see but above and to the right of bird).”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
9th February 2010

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