Blue-crowned Hanging-parrot and mistletoe flowers

on 6th April 2017

Loke Peng Fai photographed a male Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot (Loriculus galgulus) among the flowers of the semi-parasitic Malayan Mistletoe (Dendrophthae pentandra) plant (below).

HangingParrotBR-mistletoe [LokePengFai]

The enlarged images below are in sequence. As the hanging-parrot applies slight pressure on the tip of the flower bud, the petals unfold.

HangingParrotBR-mistletoe [LokePengFai] 1

This mistletoe bears so-called exploding flowers. Sunbirds, flowerpeckers and hanging-parrots trigger the flowers to open by exerting slight pressure on the flower bud.

HangingParrotBR-mistletoe [LokePengFai] 2

This allows the birds to harvest the nectar by inserting their slender tongue into the flowers, thus assist in pollination. Without these birds the flowers will not form fruits.

HangingParrotBR-mistletoe [LokePengFai] 3

Mistletoes are epiphytes, meaning that they grow on the branches of other plants. They are semi-parasitic, getting water and nutrients from the host but manufacturing their own food from the green leaves.

HangingParrotBR-mistletoe [LokePengFai] 5

Birds eat the fruits and deposit the seeds on the branches of trees they subsequently visit LINK.

Loke Peng Fai
18th March 2017

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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