Common Flameback feeding on rambutan

on 22nd July 2014

Johnny Wee photographed a Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense) pecking into the ripe fruit of the rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) in his garden in July 2014. Although woodpeckers eat mostly insects, they also, to a certain extent, eat fruits and flower nectar.

Common Flameback has also been reported to feed on the fruit of chempedak (Artocarpus integer) LINK.

Johnny Wee
July 2014

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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

3 Responses

  1. Excellent documentation but would like to suggest that, since the skin of the fruit not broken, perhaps the bird was feeding on the ants and other insects that frequently inhabit the fruit surface. Seen this with may birds. I am sure if the fruit was open, the flesh would be consumed.

  2. Yes, I would agree with Amar and black ants are favourite to seek refuge in these fruits especially the very sweet ones. A clue when purchasing rambutans, always go for the ones with crawling ants and sweetness is guaranteed.

    Would be nice if stayed long enough to check out if woodpecker was just using fruit as support to cling on to inspect for ants or serious about eating the fruit or both.

    Thanks for lovely shot.


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