Common Iora collecting cocoon as nesting material

on 3rd September 2010

“Was on my way out of this forest reserve, at the fringe, when spotted this Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia horizoptera) far away, high in a tree. It had nesting material in its beak – looked like soft cotton material possibly from a kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra).

“I scanned the tree but could not find a nest – possibly quite high up in the canopy, 8-10 meters up.

“I waited around and was rewarded with the adult collecting more material much nearer to me (above left). It was searching the leaves of trees for pupae.

“It manipulated the material for quite some time (2-3 minutes), possibly to ensure it was empty. Occasionally stopping to examine it, rest as well as sing out to the mate (above right). It pulled and stretched the material, until satisfied, then flew off to the nest (below).

“Although nests have been assumed to be held together with cobwebs, it is possible that sticky silk material from cocoons of pupae could also be used.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
15th June 2010

Note: The material collected is a cocoon of a communal-living lepidopteran species. The nest of the Common Iora covered with insect silk is shown HERE; collecting of spider silk is discussed HERE.

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.

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