Brown-Throated Sunbird in comfort behaviour

on 22nd May 2010

“Recently, a male Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) regularly visits my bougainvillea plant. Some stems of this plant, which is planted in a pot placed at the common corridor, had grown out of the high-rise flat. A bare stem that was outside the parapet wall had become the sunbird’s favourite perch.

“Last Sunday, the loud and cheerful chirping announced the arrival of this sunbird. From a room in my flat, the sunbird could be observed from close range. At a little more than 2 metres away and less than a metre below the level of the window sill, I had a great view.

“It was a cloudy day and ideal for taking pictures. Slowly, I opened the sliding window and took up position. I had to stick my camera out of the window; thus exposing my presence to this individual. However, this sunbird seemed at home and comfortable; totally ignoring me as I clicked away. Occasionally, it would chirp and look around – even looking straight at me and my camera. There was no sign of distress as it preened, stretched, and indulged in comfort behaviour (above, below).

“On that Sunday, the sunbird visited at least three times: at 11:54 am (4 minutes), 12:56 pm (15 minutes) and 1:59 pm (6 minutes). 

In real life, the hues and colours on the Brown-Throated Sunbird may not be fully appreciated due to the bird’s small size. In the larger than life size images, the plumage was simply stunning. The hues and colours of this species could even rival the colours of a rainbow. Even the different types of feathers, their various shapes and the patterns formed made this species a fascinating subject.”

Kwong Wai Chong
16th May 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.

Other posts by YC Wee

9 Responses

  1. This sunbird has probably got used to my presence as I have been looking at it from my window; but without sticking my head.

    Thanks for the interest and the kind comments.

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