“The Olive-Backed Sunbirds (Cinnyris jugularis) have been visiting my balcony daily ever since my plants began to flower. Episcia cupreata ‘Acajou’, Lantana camara ‘Hybrida’ and Stachytarpheta indica.
“The three flowering plants are Episcia cupreata ‘Acajou’ in which the birds are found to attack the flower from it’s base, using it’s very sharp bill to pierce the base, and from there to extract the sweet nectar (above).
“So far I have not been able to see the birds taking nectar from the Episcia cupreata ‘Frosty’, maybe the flowers from this plant is not sweet enough for them.
“Lantana camara ‘Hybrida’ is approached by the bird from the usual way inserting its’ very sharp bill into the opening of the flower very delicately, as these flowers are very small, and the stem holding up the flowers are very delicate (above). So the birds are not encouraged to find a perch on to the plant.
“The Blue Snake Weed or Stachytarpheta indica has it’s flowers placed in an even more delicate position, the stem holding up the tiny flowers are so soft that a sunbird who tries to have a perch on it will find itself falling over as the stem gives way. So the bird will have to resort to hovering or perching on the grill to feed on the nectar of this flower (above). The other birds that hover to feed on nectar of flowers are the famous and beautiful Humming Birds of the Americas LINK.
“Besides the above flowering plant I have documented the sunbirds feeding on the Russelia equisetiformis or Firecracker plant at the Singapore Botanic Gardens LINK, have seen the sunbirds feeding on the flowers of the tapioca plant LINK. I am sure there are some more flowering plants that the sunbirds feed on.
20th October 2012