Muntingia calabura and the feeding behaviour of flowerpeckers

on 15th December 2012

An early post on the Greater Green Leafbird feeding on the Indian cherry (Muntinia calabura) mentions three species of flowerpeckers also feeding on the fruit LINK. This post is a continuation, describing the feeding behaviour of these three flowerpeckers. This is an excellent bird tree, attracting plentiful birds whenever fruits are available as documented in this website.

“There are at least 3 species of flowerpeckers that love the Muntingia calabura fruit. Yellow-vented Flowerpecker (Dicaeum chrysorrheum chrysorrheum), Orange-bellied Flowerpecker (D. trigonostigma trigonostigma) and Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (D. cruentatum).

“Their technique of feeding is quite different.

“The Yellow-vented Flowerpecker is the master (above) LINK. It will choose a very ripe soft fruit, pluck it completely and then almost ‘magically’ able to drain them. Even the larger Greater Green Leafbirds (Chloropsis sonnerati zosterops) are not able to do this.

“Orange-bellied (above) LINK and Scarlet-backed (below) LINK Flowerpeckers are not so adapt. They look for really ripe fruit and then peck at it to get an opening and then piece meal address the fruit. Occasionally loosing it in the process as ripe fruit tends to dislodge and fall.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
(Village at fringe of primary jungle)
14th November 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.

Other posts by YC Wee

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