Female Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker collects tiny bits of bark

on 25th April 2013

For a few days in mid-March, a female Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum) visited my potted Surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora) that was placed in front of my bedroom window (below left). The visits came a few times in the morning and afternoon. Each visit was announced by her loud metallic tik-tik-tik that alerted me to her presence. The flowerpecker moved from branch to branch in rapid succession, picking up something small off the branches.

Each visit lasted less than ten seconds, with the flowerpecker picking up something 10 or more times. It appeared to be foraging insects.

Curious, I examined the slender branches but found no insects. However, covering the branches were tiny flakes of thin bark (above right). The flowerpecker was obviously picking up the tiny pieces of bark to line the nest chamber of the nest she was building LINK.

Checking on past posts in the BESG website, I came across another flowerpecker collecting bark pieces from branches of other trees LINK.

YC Wee
April 2013

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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