Footstool Palms and Asian Glossy Starlings

on 10th January 2016

The Footstool Palm (Livistona rotundifolia) is a single stemmed palm that can grow to a height of 20 metres. The rounded crown consists of leaves that are divided and fan-shaped. When in fruits, the large, brick-red hanging bunches make an attractive sight (above).

Hordes of Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis), adults as well as juveniles, flock to these bunches pecking at the fruits (below).

Although there has been an earlier report that these starlings swallow the fruits of Alexandra palm (Archontophoenix alexandrae) whole to regurgitate the seeds, this behavior was not observed in the case of the Footstool Palm.

At another location I witnessed a handful of Pied Imperial-pigeons (Ducula bicolor) feeding on these fruits. Unfortunately I have no images or videos to illustrate their activities.

YC Wee
November 2015

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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