Rosy Starling swallowing Oil Palm fruit

posted in: Feeding strategy, Feeding-plants | 0

StarlingR-oil palm [TonyChua] 1

Tony Chua documented a Rosy Starling (Sturnus roseus) eating an Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis) fruit at Gardens by the Bay. It picked up the fruit from the palm, swallowed it and flew to a quiet spot where it disgorged it (below)…

StarlingR-oil palm [TonyChua] 2

…to swallow it again. Tony reviewed his continuous shots and the image below was that taken a split second earlier.

StarlingR-oil palm [TonyChua] 3

Tony reported that the starling was repeating the process of swallowing and disgorging the fruit a few times. However he was unsure whether the starling finally did swallow the fruit.

However, Kheng Eu Meng confirmed that the starling did swallow the fruit after a few tries when he was there a few days ago.

Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis) has been reported to regularly swallow fruits of the Alexandra palm (Archontophoenix alexandrae) to subsequently regurgitate the seeds after the pulp has been scraped off in the crop. These seeds are smaller than those those of the Oil Palm, thus the difficulty of the Rosy Starling in swallowing the latter fruits as reported above.

Tony Chua & Khng Eu Meng
Singapore
17th September 2016

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behavior through photography and videography to a wider audience.

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