Olive-Back Sunbird and Flowering Plants

posted in: Feeding-plants | 2

“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.

KC Tsang
Singapore
20th October 2012

8+

2 Responses

  1. […] “It was with great luck and amazement that I was able to observe the feeding strategy that was being practiced half a world away in Costa Rica. My first encounter of this was in Singapore along my balcony when an Olive Backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) pierced the base of the Episcia cupreata ‘Acajou’ flower to get at the nectar LINK. […]

    0
  2. What great image with such a tiny flower. I was looking those image with bird for my some research work conducted recently. you made my work more supporting. Wonder If I can ask with you high resolution images of those flowers and birds, will credited in my publication. my email is sh.mani@gmail.com.

    thank you great image.\
    Mani

    0

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.