“Streaked Spiderhunters (Arachnothera magna) are common at this hill station and often seen foraging for insects or nectar from flowers, especially the inflorescence of banana plants. We saw two high up in the canopy feeding on the flowers of the Poikilospermum suaveolens (Family: Urticaceae). They eat the flowers to get to the nectar (above).
“And as I watched they would fill the beak (above), then tilt up the head (below) and swallow the contents.
“I have seen this in other birds feeding on the same flowers. Posts and a discussion on birds that feed on the Poikilospermum suaveolens nectar are given in these links: LINK 1, LINK 2, LINK 3 and LINK 4.
“I do not know this plant very well but if you see this image on flicker HERE, you can see that there are darker mature/ripe flowers. The times I have seen birds eat the flowers, it has been the darker heads.
“Half an hour earlier, about 400-500 meters away, I had seen another Streaked Spiderhunter (above) but, due to distance, missed the fact that it was carrying Poikilospermum suaveolens flowers/nectar in its beak to feed a juvenile.”
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
4th April 2014
Location: 1,600m ASL, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
Habitat: Trail through primary forest