The food of the Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis malacensis) has been posted earlier. Another food record is now added – the flowers of payung Sumatra or sandbox tree (Hura crepitans). Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS encountered a female Brown-throated Sunbird in the tree pecking at the flowering bunch at his Canning Garden home in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia on 8th April 2010.
“At first I thought it was searching for insects or spiders but it was actually feeding on the flowers a number of times,” wrote Amar.
The fruits of this tree are roundish, slightly flattened at both ends and lobed. At maturity it splits explosively to scatter the seeds (right), thus the West Indian name, monkey’s dinner bell. This is a popular ornamental tree native to tropical America.
Image of sunbird by Amar, fruit of sandbox tree by YC.