Red-whiskered Bulbul and Singapore Rhododendron

posted in: Feeding-plants | 0

Singapore Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum) is a common exotic weedy shrub found in open areas all over Singapore. The fruits are sought after by birds that in turn help spread the seeds – see below, extracted from this LINK.

The above image of the Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) was taken on 10th May 2015 in my garden. The image below was taken two months later.

2. Melastoma malabathricum (Singapore rhododendron)

Red-crowned Barbets: fruit_ChanYokeMeng-MChan_190706_forest – LINK
Yellow-vented Bulbul: fruit_AmarSingh_250611_Ipoh-Perak-Malaysia – LINK
White-rumped Munia: nesting_AmerSingh_231009_Ipoh-Malaysia – LINK
Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker: fruit_OngKiemSian-MortenStrange_200208_rural – LINK
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker: fruit_OngKiemSian-MortenStrange_200208_Malaysia – LINK
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker: fruit_Willis_101208_Johor-Malaysia – LINK
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker: fruit_YCWee_130607_urban – LINK
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker: fruit_LenaChow_220712_urban – LINK
Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker: fruit_OngKiemSian-MortenStrange_200208_rural – LINK

We are now adding the Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) to the list above that feeds on the fruits.

Fishpool & Tobias (2005) and Wells (2007) both list the species as a generalist but no mention of it taking fruits of Singapore Rhododendron. That local information on the Red-whiskered Bulbul is sparse has been mentioned by Wells (2007).

YC Wee
August 2015

Fishpool, L. D. C. & J. A. Tobias, 2005. Family Pycnonotidae (bulbuls). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & D. A. Christie (eds.), Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 10. Cucuoo-shrikes to Thrushes. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp. 124-251.
2. Wells, D.R., 2007. The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London. 800 pp.

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