Olive-backed Sunbird taking a leaf bath

on 2nd March 2012

“Sunbirds love to have a cool shower/bath on wet leaves. They wait eagerly for us to water our garden and often come to bathe just 2-3 meters away from us, occasionally enjoying a direct shower from the hose.

“The Olive-backed Sunbirds (Cinnyris jugularis ornatus) like to rub their face on wet leaves (above left) and their bellies by opening their wings out (above right).

“Photography is a challenge as they move very quickly, flitting from leaf to leaf as they shower. Unlike the Brown-throated Sunbirds in garden that favour small leaves to bathe, like the Peacock flower (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) the Olive-backed Sunbirds (Anthreptes malacensis) like larger leaves like the Cinnamon (Cinnamomum iners) and Fish-tailed-Palm (Caryota mytis).

“Note the white markings to the tail feathers and wing of the female (above). The male also has the same markings (above left). The image on the above-right shows the the pair together.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Canning Garden Home, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
29th January 2012

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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