Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker feeding on fruits of Scurrula

on 7th December 2011

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS photographed a moulting male Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum) feeding on the fruits of a mistletoe plant (left). Note that the head of the bird is covered with short shafts of pin feathers (above). The white sheath holds the developing feather and as the barbs break through the tip of the sheath, the latter will gradually disintegrate.

The photograph was taken at the fringe of the Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia on 18th October 2011.

Francis Lim, who has been studying mistletoes in Singapore LINK, identified the semi-parasitic plant as either Scurrula parasitica or S. ferruginea. “Both species look almost alike, both having rusty leaf undersides and club-shaped fruits,” wrote Francis. “I noticed some curved flower buds, which would indicate the species … is S. ferruginea. S. parasitica flower buds tend to be long and straight and not covered with fine hairs. Of course any shots of the flowers would be helpful.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS & Francis Lim
December 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.

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