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Javan Myna feeding on Singapore Rhododendron fruits

on 4th January 2018
video grab
video grab

According to BESG’s updated Plant-Bird Relationship (Version 3.0), we have records of 12 species of birds feeding on the fruits of Singapore Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum), a common weedy shrub. Surprisingly, Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus), an omnivorous species and one of the commonest birds in Singapore, is not among them.

I checked with three major reference books on birds (Craig & Feare, 2009; Feare & Craig, 1998; Wells, 2007) but none lists fruits of Singapore Rhododendron among the plant diet of Javan Myna.

I presume everyone assumes that Javan Myna eats these fruits but no one reports it. For the record, my video clip showing this myna eating the fruits was an accidental documentation (see below).

YC Wee
Singapore
5th November 2017

References:
1.
Craig, A. J. F. K. & C. J. Feare, 2009. Family Sturnidae (Starlings). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & D. A. Christie (eds.). Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 14. Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp. 654-758.
2. Feare, C. & A. Craig, 1998. Starlings and mynas. Christopher Helm (Publishers) Ltd., London. 285 pp.
3. Wells, D.R., 2007. The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London. 800 pp.

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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