Olive-backed Sunbirds feeding chicks

on 5th August 2012

“Attached are some images of the nesting Olive-backed Sunbirds (Nectarinia jugularis) feeding their chicks with a variety of prey, including praying mantis (above). I noticed that both parent birds tend to give food more often to the chick on the left than the one on the right. I wonder whether it is nature’s way to ensure that at least one chick will survive when there is a shortage of food. But in this case it does not seem to be so.

“There were in fact many different ‘dishes’ on the menu – various species of caterpillers (above left), insects (?above right), berries and even ‘seafood’, – a tiny hermit crab LINK. So, why is the chick on the left given this special treatment? Is it because it happens to be a male? I hope someone can enlighten me.

“The photos were taken on 30/06/12 and 07/07/12 in Pasir Ris Nature Park.”

Raymond Poon
22nd July 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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