Bird behaviour during a birdwatching trip

“I recently concluded my 5 days bird guiding trip covering Kuala Selangor, Fraser’s Hill and Hulu Langat. Some of the most interesting observations made through these 5 days were

“1. Spectacled Spiderhunter (Arachnothera flavigaster) hovering and caught a spider in the morning hour of 10th February 2012. Although I have been seeing these species at this location many times, I didn’t notice what it was attracted to until 4 days when I was looking at it hovering and perching and then it hovers again to snatch a spider on the web. Believe or not, this is the very first time I can remember seeing a spiderhunter feeding on a spider. Most of the time, I only see them feeding on nectars (unfortunately, no photo).

“2. Ruby-cheeked Sunbird (Chalcoparia singalensis) catching ants. On the very same day, when we were inside the forest, we noticed a pair of sunbird busy checking out a particular tree. From afar, we aimed our spotting scopes on them and noticed what they were doing. Check out the video above. And then i google ‘sunbird feeding on ants’ and found Dr Amar’s article on feeding behavior of Ruby-cheeked Sunbird.

“Another interesting sighting was the Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker (Prionochilus maculatus) poking at the base of a tubular-shaped flower (rhododendron type) for feeding and also picking on the berries of Melastomaceae (again no photo).”

Cheong Weng Chun
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
13th February 2012

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2 Responses

  1. Well, I will have to say, honestly, none that I know of. I am not much of a bird person, but being a Nature person I do recognise certain types of bird behaviour watching them from my kitchen window. For example, I see, many time, the pecking order of the Javan Mynahs; how the older birds send the young ones in to forage and to test safety before they themselves come in, shoo the younger ones away and then feed on the spoils themselves. I also notice their calls: “come, come all is well!” and the call signalling danger, vamouse quickly lah! I also see the more dominant species drive away the weaker ones and so on and so forth. I guess productive birding is not just counting birds, admiring the colour of their feathers but also to chart their behaviour patterns. I firmly believe that bird watching and bird study are complementary to each other. This makes the art and science of birding complete.This is my 5 cents worth of observation.

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  2. I was excited during my first birdwatching trip to see so many different birds around us. But after going to a few different locations, boredom sets in as I get to know the more familiar birds. When new species are sighted, nobody will tell me where they are as I do not belong to the select groups. Selfishness seems to e very prevalent in this activity. Can guides (voluntary of paid) please include behaviour as part of their commentaries? So that trips are not just names after names after names?

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