Rosy Starling swallowing Oil Palm fruit

on 19th October 2016

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
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.

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.

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