“I came across another fruiting Giant Mahang (Macaranga gigantea) with numerous species feeding on the fruit. This tree is located between secondary and primary forest at the fringe of the forest reserve. As such it had a large mix of common bird (Asian Glossy Starlings, Yellow-vented Bulbuls) as well as birds coming out from the primary forest.
“I was surprised to see two Oriental Magpie Robins (Copsychus saularis musicus) at the foot of the tree (alongside two Emerald Doves Chalcophaps indica) feeding on fallen Mahang fruit.
“In the past I have reported one episode of frugivory by Oriental Magpie Robin in July 2011 where an adult female and a juvenile were seen taking the fruit of the Madras Thorn tree (Pithecellobium dulce, Manila Tamarind). On that occasion also they were eating fruit fallen from the tree.
“Wells 2007 (The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 2) only reports animal/insect prey. Note that Robinson 1927 (Birds of Malay Peninsula Vol 1) say that ‘food is almost completely insectivorous, but spiders and worms are sought for, and in captivity … bananas are readily devoured.” While Phillipps 2014 (Phillipps’ Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, 3rd edition) says of the Borneo race that “… also eats berries in trees’.
“I can now safely say that fruit comprises a part of the diet of the adult Oriental Magpie Robin in my region.”
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
8th August 2015
Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Fringe of the forest reserve