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White-bellied Erpornis in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

on 3rd June 2012

“Had a prolonged bird wave (mixed foraging party) from 1148-1216hrs (28 minutes). The most prominent participant were at least 6 White-bellied Erpornis (Erpornis zantholeuca interposita), of which two were juveniles (above: left adult, right juvenile). There were present from start to finish of the bird wave.

“The White-bellied Erpornis is the only member of the genus Erpornis. Formerly placed with the Yuhinas and still called “White-bellied Yuhina” by some. But DNA studies evidence supports that no relationship exists with the Yuhinas or other babblers. Currently a free standing species but may be placed with the Vireonidae.

“Locally the bird is near threatened bordering on vulnerable and I was delighted to get an extended observation of this uncommon species. I took many images but all are poor due to the canopy and rapid pace of a bird wave (chose not to us flash). The bird is not particularly shy and, as reported, loves to hang on the tip of a branch/leaf to look underneath for prey (very commonly seen). Calls were heard but very soft and were brief thrill notes (2 syllable common). Although uncommon and rather plain in plumage, the bird is unmistakable. The two juveniles were both self feeding as well as being fed by adults. The juveniles lacked the prominent crest and the bright yellow of the undertail coverts of the adults. Foraging was primarily for animal prey (insects) (above).

“Other participants of the bird wave (mixed foraging party) included:
Velvet-fronted Nuthatchs (Sitta frontalis saturatior); Blue-winged Leafbirds (Chloropsis cochinchinensis moluccensis); Arctic Warbler (Phylloscopus borealis); Spectacled Bulbuls (Pycnonotus erythropthalmos); Red-eyed Bulbuls (Pycnonotus brunneus; a tailorbird (possibly Dark-necked); others not identified.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia (500m ASL)
Trail through dense primary forest
30th April 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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