The Mangrove Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis rufigastra) is a rare resident in Singapore. It is found mainly in mangroves and the surrounding areas. And due to habitat loss and poaching, it has become a nationally endangered species.
David Tan’s documentation the Mangrove Blue Flycatcher feeding a pair of chicks on 25th May 2010 is the latest of the few breeding records that have come to light. It is heartening to know that the bird is still breeding in the remaining degraded pockets of mangroves.
The nest is built in the rotted hollow top of a palm stem that can well be a bayas Oncosperma horridum or a nibong (O. tigillarium).
The food that the adults bring to the chicks include grasshoppers (left) and caterpillars – moth caterpillar, possibly family Noctuidae (below left) and butterfly caterpillar, possibly mid-instar (below right).
The chicks are also fed with a hopper nymph (Homoptera) (below left) and a jumping spider (family Salticidae) (below right).
Dr Leong Tzi Ming who assisted in the identification of the insects, adds: “Lovely images captured in startling detail. Thank you for the preview and congrats to David S. H. Tan for his brilliant photography.”