Crimson Sunbird feeding at spider’s web

on 8th March 2010

“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

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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