Olive-backed Sunbird feeding chicks

on 12th July 2012

Raymond Poon send in two images of a female Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis) feeding a pair of chicks in the nest. The images were taken at Pasir Ris Nature Park on the morning of 8th July 2012.

According to Raymond, the top-left image shows the adult “…feeding the chick with what looks like a tiny hermit crab. Though tiny, the prey appears too big for the chick to swallow. However, after some coaxing from the parent bird, it finally managed to swallow it. Can anyone confirm that it is indeed a hermit crab? I thought sunbirds eat only caterpillars, tiny fruits, insects and of course nectar.”

The top-right image “…shows the male parent bird giving a chick an insect which appears to be a praying mantis. Can anyone confirm that it is indeed a praying mantis?”

NOTE: The enlarged images on the left is not clear enough to confirm that the prey is a hermit crab. Anyway we would appreciate comments…

Raymond Poon
July 2012

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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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