Brown Barbet – less commonly seen foraging method

“One year ago (9th February 2010), in the Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve (Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia) I saw/posted an odd behaviour of a female Brown Barbet (Calorhamphus fuliginosus hayii). It was high in the jungle canopy and saw it intentionally biting on a dried twig which it broke off. At the time I was unsure if this was foraging behaviour.

“Two days ago I was able to watch the same behaviour by an adult female and an adult male. The adult would walk or hop along a horizontal branch, again high up in a tree (10-12 meters up). It would then carefully and systematically inspect the underside of these branches. It would rip out a portion of the bark to look for prey. Even thin branches were also inspected, as were branches heavily saprophyted.

“I had missed this comment by Wells (1999) on foraging ‘searches foliage and the surface and crevices of bark on branches and trunks apparently for animal food’.

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Burmese Pool Trail (Secondary forest), Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
(Old durian plantation, secondary growth, with primary forest on two sides)
15th February 2011

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