Blue-rumped Parrot eats starfruit (Averrhoa carambola)

on 20th May 2013

Ong Ei Leen was the first to post the Blue-rumped Parrot (Psittinus cyanurus) eating the starfruit (Averrhoa carambola) at Singapore’s Venus Loop by Lower Peirce Reservoir in mid-May 2013. This rare resident is a wasteful eater, scattering bits and pieces of the fruit on the ground below in his effort to get at the seeds. This male’s eating behaviour (above) is very much like that of the Tanimbar Corella (Cacatua goffini) LINK. While the Tanimbar Corella removes bits and pieces of the flesh from the fruit ridges to get at the seeds, this male Blue-rumped Parrot tears away the flesh from one end of the fruit. Unfortunately Ei Leen’s video cannot be shown here LINK as there are some problems posting Facebook videos on this website.

Jeremiah Loel‘s video (above) shows the female Blue-rumped Parrot plucking the fruit before attacking it from the end.

Lena Chow‘s video on the other hand shows the male eating the fruit while still attached to the branch (above). The female on the other hand plucks the fruit before removing chunks of the flesh to get at the seeds (below).

Ong Ei Leen, Jeremiah Loei & Lena Chow
May 2013

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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

4 Responses

  1. The reference below illustrates that the messy eating habits of parrots can in some cases be very beneficial to other useful organisms:

    Douglas, L. 2013. “Does the Bananaquit Benefit Commensally from Parrot Frugivory? An Assessment Using Habitat Quality.” Biotropica 0 (0): 1-8.

    1. Maybe the seeds of the unripe fruits are more tender??? or whatever? Or that ripe fruits become messy when the bird try to to get at them?

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