William Ip was at the Pasir Ris Park in February 2011 where he photographed a Red-breasted Parakeet (Psittacula alexandri) eating the seeds of Rose of India (Lagerstroemia speciosa) (left).
Rose of India is a popular wayside tree in Singapore with attractive pink or mauve flowers (below left). The fruit is a woody capsule that splits open when ripe (below centre), exposing the flattened, winged seeds (below right).
This is a new food record for the Red-breasted Parakeet. Wells (1999) states that there is no information on food. Collar (1997) mentions flowers and nectar of a number of plants and seeds of Albizia, Castanea and Ficus. Also leaf buds of teak, rice and other grains – no mention of Lagestroemia.
Native to areas of India to the Celebes, it is now a popular ornamental tree throughout many tropical countries. In Malaysia it is known as bungor raya, in Indonesia as bungur or tangi, in the Philippines as agaro or banaba, in Thailand as chuang-muu or intanin-nam and in Vietnam as banglang nuoc.
1. Collar, N. J. 1997. Family Columbidae Psittacidae (parrots). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal (eds.), Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 4.
2. Wells, D.R., 1999. The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. I, Non-passerines. Academic Press, London. 648 pp.
Image of parakeet by William Ip, those of the Rose of India by YC Wee.