A female Olive-backed Sunbird collecting nesting material

on 28th February 2011

“A female Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) was so engrossed in its nest building that it either did not notice or ignore my presence when I was doing my usual round in the evening of 5th February. It flew towards me and landed on my condo perimeter fence just about 10 feet away. There were dead climbing plants entwined in the fence wire. It pulled and tugged at the dried stems and curling tendrils, at times using the body weight with the feet pivoting on the wire for added strength. Such animal intelligence (below left). The whole event was over in just about half a minute.

“Subsequently, I took a close look at the climber/s (above right). It seemed that there are two species, one with green stem and the other one having a darker green and approaching brownish red colour. On the other hand, it is also possible that they are of the same species, the stems turning to darker colour as they grow and mature. The berries as seen in the image is just about the life size, comparable to the fruit size of, say, Salam (Syzygium polyanthum).”

Sun Chong Hong
10th February 2011

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

3 Responses

  1. That was an excellent video! Thanks, Su Chong Hong. The climber looks like Passiflora suberosa; we used to pick the green fruit and hear them ‘pop’ when pressed.

    1. Dear Angie,
      I am interested to seek out the mistletoe Macrosolen retusus and understand that you mentioned seeing them in your old place. Would it be possible to let me know the location so I can check it out? I am writing a book on mistletoes and would like to study and photograph M retusus. The rest of the 6 species I have already done. Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.
      my hp 96385495. BTW I actually was in contact with Yeow Chin to get in touch with you.

      Francis Lim

  2. Thanks for the compliment, Angie. I took the close-up picture hoping that some plant specialists would be able to identify the climber. I was amazed by the number of similar looking climbers found growing in the vicinity.

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