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Little Spiderhunter’s food and calls

on 19th June 2016

“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.

SpiderhunterL-jambu [AmarSingh]

“I saw them feeding on the fruit of a Jambu (Syzigium sp.) (above) and the nectar of the Heliconia rostrata (below)…

SpiderhunterL-Heliconia rostrata [AmarSingh]

“…and Calathea lutea (below).

SpiderhunterL-Calathea lutea [AmarSingh] 1

“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).

SpiderhunterL-Calathea lutea [AmarSingh] 3

“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.

SpiderhunterL-Calathea lutea [AmarSingh] 2

“Sonogram and waveform of calls below.”

Little Spiderhunter-calls-3a-Sepilok, Sandakan, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia-1st May 2016 (1)

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

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.

Other posts by YC Wee

One Response

  1. Thank you for this interesting post. I shall now see if I can observe the nostrils or nares … and the flap.

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