Streaked Spiderhunter catching spiders

“The Streaked Spiderhunter (Arachnothera magna) is the easiest spiderhunter to see and very common in the highlands.

“This Streaked Spiderhunter was part of a bird wave (mixed foraging party) of Silver-eared Mesias (Leiothrix argentauris tahanensis), Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica), an opportunist rather than actual part of mixed foraging party), minivets, etc.

“After a while it broke off from the rest as it spotted a spider web. It dropped to the ground to investigate and then climbed the low plant to prise open some closed leaves to get its prize (above).

“Although named ‘spiderhunter’, I seldom have seen spiderhunters in general take spiders. More often nectar from a variety of flowers and fruits. Their beaks usually heavily stained with pollen (left).

“At this same location we saw four Streaked Spiderhunters in two pairs using same area to forage.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
1,500m ASL, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
13th January 2012


4 Responses

  1. daisy oneill

    Nice one Amar. Despite its name, very few opportunities these days to see them serching out and catching spiders. As you rightly observed, spiderhunters generally seemed to be heading for pollens and nectars.


  2. Slim Sreedharan

    It is an amazingly painful bird to handle. Its claws are longer and sharper than those of the House Swift or any of the Collocalia swiftlets.

  3. Appreciate both response (Daisy & Slim). Agree that the claws are really long & sharp (saw that when watching this particular bird).

  4. Maria Sjogren

    There are Streaked Spiderhunters nesting at Koh Lanta, Thailand. I have a villa at Klong Kong Beach and I see them early every morning. A slightly noise make them to quickly flay away. Maria


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