“I spotted another episode of frugivory by the Oriental Magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis musicus), this time of a Ficus villosa. This is a creeping ficus that has pear-shaped orange figs 8 mm diameter. I was some distance away when I saw odd behaviour. As the composite image shows the bird was taking fruit from the creeping fig, but did so after a few attempts.
“This is the first time I have seen them actually harvest fruit on the this plant.
“In the past I have reported an episode of frugivory in August 2011 where an adult female and a juvenile were seen taking the fruit of the Madras Thorn tree (Pithecellobium dulce, Manila Tamarind) HERE. On that occasion they were eating fruit fallen from the tree.
“In August 2015 I reported two Oriental Magpie-robins at the foot of a Giant Mahang tree (Macaranga gigantea) feeding on fallen Mahang fruit HERE.”
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
9th July 2016
Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Fringe of the forest reserve
1. Wells 2007 (The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 2) only reports animal/insect prey.
2. Robinson 1927 (Birds of Malay Peninsula Vol 1) says that “food is almost completely insectivorous, but in captivity … bananas are readily devoured.”
3. Phillipps 2014 (Phillipps’ Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo, 3rd edition) says of the Borneo race that “… also eats berries in trees”
4. Collar 2016 (Oriental Magpie-robin in Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive) states that food includes “nectar of e.g. Salmalia and Erythrina, and seeds and fallen wild fruit”.