Kok Tiong a.k.a. koktiong photographed a pair of Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum), each with a ripe berry of the Indian cherry (Muntingia calabura) clamped in its bill. Note that the birds have chosen the fruits that have just turned ripe, the greenness of the skin has just turned yellow. Any further ripening will see the fruits turning bright red. The male flowerpecker has started squeezing the fruit (above left) but not the ?juvenile (above right).
An earlier post shows the male flowerpeker with a slightly ripened fruit in its bill. The female on the other hand has a greener but ripened fruit that she has squeezed to force out the pulp. This is how the flowerpecker handles the fruit, squeezing the pulp into its throat and dumping the empty fruit shell rather than swallowing the fruit whole.
The pulp is packed with small seeds that pass through digestive system system, thereby helping to spread the plant. This is a fast growing medium-sized tree that used to be common around urban Singapore. Not anymore as the masses of birds that congregate in the tree dirty the ground below.
The Indian cherry is an excellent bird tree, guaranteed to attract numerous birds whenever there are fruits. And fruiting is year-round.
This post is a cooperative effort between NaturePixels.org and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.