Yellow-vented Flowerpecker and fruits of Muntingia calabura

on 15th November 2011

“I have been visiting a fruiting Muntingia calabura (Local name ‘Ceri Kampung‘ – Village Cherry) every weekend for the past 4 weeks. This tree is an ‘import’ from South American and has done well locally. In Malaysia it grows very easily and is widespread. The fruit is 1-1.5cm, edible, sweet and juicy, contains a number of small seeds LINK.

“As this particular tree is located at the fringe of the forest reserve, a number of flowerpeckers love to come and feed on this fruit. They usually turn up mid to late morning and often there is much conflict over the fruits.

“One Yellow-vented Flowerpecker (Dicaeum chrysorrheum chrysorrheum) is present on every occasion and seems to have accepted my presence, allowing closer observation. It enjoys the ripe fruit and will harvest 4-5 in the space of 10-15 minutes.

“Although this is among the larger of the flowerpeckers, the fruit of the Muntingia calabura is still hard to manage. The Yellow-vented Flowerpecker will grip the fruit firmly in the beak, squeeze it, tilt upwards and allow the juice to trickle down. This will continue until the fruit is ‘deflated’ and then on to the next. This is the least ‘quarrelsome’ of the flowerpeckers foraging at this tree, perhaps the large size intimidates others.

“A video of three feeding events merged together below:

“Note that the ‘zit, zit’ calls in the background at the beginning of the video are from the Orange-bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma). The second part of the clip shows it excited with feeding and watching me and looses the fruit (occurs ~20% of the time). The third part of the clip is a bit blur but does show the deflation of the fruit.

“I have previously observed this flowerpecker feeding on fruits of: Straits Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum), Ficus benjamina and Ficus villosa.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Fringe of Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
5th November 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

2 Responses

  1. Nice observations and pictures! Does the flowerpecker only drink the juice from the fruit and drop the fleshy part each time? I wonder if any other birds are interested in the remains of the fruit…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Overall visits (since 2005)

Live visitors
Visitors Today

Clustrmaps (since 2016)