Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker foraging in Lagerstroemia tree

posted in: Feeding-invertebrates, Videography | 0

“A pair Scarlet-backed Flowerpeckers (Dicaeum cruentatum cruentatum) visit our garden very frequently during the day to feed. As the canopy of our garden is currently quite high it is hard to watch behaviour. I have been sitting on the flat part of our roof for 2 hours per morning (Tuesday and Thursday) to try and catch the behaviour.

“One problem with observations has been a ‘visiting’ Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker who has disturbed the resident pair – the male chases the ‘visitor’ many times, round and round, until it leaves. Very hard to capture this activity, like two bees chasing each other.

“The Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker are well documented feeding on various mistletoe, some small fruit (like the Muntingia calabura), nectar (I have not seen this) and insects.

“In our garden, apart from the mistletoe we have planted for these birds, they spend a lot of time in our Tamarind and Lagerstroemia trees. I am trying to understand what they feed on in these trees. The Tamarind is dense and images have been poor (concealed). They seem to be ‘wiping’ the leaves through the bill and could be getting small insects.

“But was able to watch feeding in the Lagerstroemia. A video of the female feeding in the Lagerstroemia is shown above. I am still struggling to see exactly what she was eating. I have seen them previously use the Lagerstroemia bark for nest building LINK. But here it is a definitely a feeding activity. There are a lot of black ants in that tree and I wonder if they are picking these up?”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Canning Garden Home, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
24th November 2011

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