Orange-bellied Flowerpecker eating Piper aduncum fruits

posted in: Feeding-plants | 0

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS encountered a pair of Orange-bellied Flowerpeckers (Dicaeum trigonostigma trigonostigma) at 600-700 ASL in Pos Slim Road, Perak, Malaysia on 22nd December 2009. The birds were feeding on the fruits of the exotic pepper plant, Piper aduncum, commonly known as Spanish elder. This shrubby tree is widespread in Central and South America as well as the West Indies. Introduced to the Bogor Botanical Gardens in 1860, it has since spread throughout Southeast Asia, being naturalised in many areas. In Malaysia it is commonly encountered in secondary fallow vegetation.

The Orange-bellied Flowerpeckers were feeding with great relish on the fruits. According to Dr David Wells, the fruits are a hot favourite with this flowerpecker as well as other smallish frugivores.

Mervin Quah documented the Long-tailed Sibia (Heterophasia picaoides wrayi) eating the fruits at Malaysia’s Genting Highlands in Pahang.

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