Spectacled Spiderhunter: Cross-species feeding

on 27th August 2015

“An odd feeding behaviour I saw was by a juvenile/immature Spectacled Spiderhunter (Arachnothera flavigaster).

“In the past 5-6 weeks I have seen quite a number of juvenile/immature Spectacled Spiderhunters at fruiting trees. So was not surprised to see another. But this bird was chasing others, especially the Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis) for food.

“I am used to competitive feeding at fruiting tress and often the Spectacled Spiderhunter is the main ‘bully’ chasing away the others. But this bird was behaving like typical juveniles begging for food. I saw 4 episodes. 2 were aerial and 2 on branches.

“The juvenile/immature Spectacled Spiderhunter would chase an Asian Glossy Starling for food all around the tree. Once alighted on a branch it would spread out its wings and beg like a typical juvenile, with the accompanying pleading calls. In aerial pursuit it would actually have beak to beak contact with a starling.

“The behaviour was fast and hard to capture. The attached image shows the Spectacled Spiderhunter begging but unfortunately the starling was higher on the same branch and not in view. I did not see any actual food transfer to the spiderhunter.

“Cross-species bird feeding does occur, see: HERE and HERE on You Tube.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
7th August 2015

Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Fringe of forest reserve with overgrown secondary jungle

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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