“I was watching a nesting pair of Olive-backed Sunbirds (Cinnyris jugularis) in the city when the female took a break to feed on the nectar of the flowers of the Yellow Flame Tree (Peltophorum pterocarpum).
“I was taken by surprise as I have yet to personally see any bird use these flowers for nectar. It may be just a lack of observation as usually flowers are rather high up. I should also not be surprised as bees use the flowers indicating nectar presence.
“A simple net search by common/scientific name and also by image search showed documentation of two parrots feeding on the nectar, see: A Blue-crowned Hanging-parrot in Singapore and a Rainbow Lorikeet in Australia.
“My lack of observation over many years makes me suspect these flowers are used when other sources of nectar are limited or, in my instance, where the bird is very busy and does not want to stray far from the nest.”
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
21st March 2015