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Brown-throated Sunbird foraging along a tree trunk

on 16th October 2010

In September 2010 Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS was in East Malaysia (Borneo) on official duties. One evening when he was at the waterfront in Kuching city, he encountered a male Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) foraging along the trunk of an old tree.

Rather than looking for insects among the thick growth of lichens and bryophytes on the trunk, the sunbird was targeting the epiphytic dragon’s scale fern (Pyrrosia piloselloides). It meticulously turned over a number of the sterile oval fronds of the fern to look for insects hiding underneath (above).

Incidentally, the fertile fronds of this fern are long and narrow rather than oval, and lined with masses of brown spore cases along the edge.

The dried slender stems of the dragon’s scale fern are a favourite nesting material of birds like the Dusky Broadbill (Corydon sumatranus), the Banded Broadbill (Eurylaimus javanicus) and the Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier).

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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