Plain Sunbird – feeding behaviour

“Over the years, I have observed the Plain Sunbird (Anthreptes simplex) feeding on a variety of foods:
1. The small black fruit/seeds of the Blue Mahang (Macaranga heynei) – their favourite.
2. Fruit of the Common Mahang (Macaranga bancana)
3. Animal prey including spiders

“Wells (2007) states “No confirmation of this behaviour (nectar feeding) seems to exist for the review area.”

“Today was able to better document them actually feeding on nectar. Images above and left are of the male feeding on nectar. But both adults spent much time with the flowers. The tree they were feeding on in not native to this forest but planted by nearby villagers. It is Mimusops elengi (common names: Tanjung, Maulsari, Spanish cherry, Medlar, Bullet wood).

“Previously I have seen them feed on the nectar of the mistletoe semi-parasite flowers but images were limited.

“The above images are of an adult female with animal prey and the obligatory branch swipe to clean the bill after feeding.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
2nd April 2013

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