“Little Spiderhunters (Arachnothera longirostra buettikoferi) were common at the Rain-forest Discovery Center, especially in the discovery garden – a show case of the biodiversity of plants at the centre.
“I saw them feeding on the fruit of a Jambu (Syzigium sp.) (above) and the nectar of the Heliconia rostrata (below)…
“…and Calathea lutea (below).
“The Calathea lutea is a native to tropical America and known as the Cuban or Havana Cigar, and used to wrap tamales. It has become popularly by landscapers and as a ‘water-feature’. It produces 30-cm long inflorescences that have a cigar-like structure, are brownish with yellow flowers. A favourite nectar source for the Little Spiderhunter, as can be seen by the pollen covering the beak (below).
“Frank B. Gill. Ornithology. 3rd Edition 2007 states: “Most birds inhale air through nostrils, or nares, at the base of the bill. A flap, or operculum, covers and protects the nostrils in some birds, such as diving birds that must keep water from entering their nostrils and flower-feeding birds that must keep pollen out.” Image below offers view of this flap at the base of the bill.
“Sonogram and waveform of calls below.”
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
1st May 2016
Location: Rain-forest Discovery Center, Sepilok, Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia
Habitat: Fringe of forest reserve
Thank you for this interesting post. I shall now see if I can observe the nostrils or nares … and the flap.