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Brown-throated Sunbird sipping nectar

on 12th September 2013

“According to Wikipedia: ‘Bauhinia acuminata is a species of flowering shrub native to tropical southeastern Asia. Common names include Dwarf White Bauhinia, White Orchid-tree and Snowy Orchid-tree… It grows two to three meters tall…’

“There is one growing in my condo. Its flowers are fragrant, though I have yet to smell it possibly because of the ever-present strong wind. From my observations the flower only lasts a day. So far, I have witnessed Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis), Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa confusa), unidentified small honey bees and Lesser Banded Hornet (Vespa affinis) being attracted to the blooms.

The video below, recorded on 26th May 2013 and played at half speed, shows a sunbird sipping the nectar of the flower. An enhanced screen-capture image reveals that it is a male Brown-throated (above).

Another video (above), played at half speed shows a sunbird taking the nectar of the Gelam flowers (Melaleuca cajuputi). This was recorded on 13th August 2013 at the Bishan Ang Mo Kio Park. The creamy to yellow colour of the flowers looks similar to those of the Lemon Bottle Brush (Callistemon pallidus) (syn. Melaleuca pallida). Both plants are in the Myrtaceae family.

“Screen capture image above shows the bird is probably a female Brown-throated in view of the slight hint of redness in the eye (above).”

Sun Chong Hong
Singapore
23rd August 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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