Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker: 4. Lining egg chamber

on 4th February 2018

Earlier posts: 1. Introduction; 2. Dangling nesting materials; 3. Nest taking shape.

By the afternoon of day three (4th January) of nest building, the wall of the egg chamber was properly reinforced with more nesting materials (below). The female Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum) had at last completed the basic nest structure.

video grab
video grab

The 3 hours of video surveillance still showed only the female flowerpecker doing all the work. She made a total of 62 visits and he only 2. On average, she made 20 visits per hour, mostly bringing plant floss to line the egg chamber (below).

video grab
video grab

The 2 visits by the male was to have a brief look (below). The smallness of the bird as well as its rapid movements made it difficult to monitor his presence during the visits by the female. He may well be in the background as the sharp calls were often heard.

video grab
video grab

Everytime the female brought floss, she entered the nest chamber to arrange it, moving around probably to shape the chamber.

At 1:28 minutes of the edited video below, when the female arrived with more floss, the call of the male was clearly heard. The male was nearby keeping in contact with the female. It took the female about 30 seconds to complete adding her floss onto to the inner wall of the chamber before emerging. At that exact time the male appeared, to accompany the female flying out.

The next visit by the female saw her staying inside the nest for a prolonged period of nearly 6 minutes before leaving, the longest time ever. Was she testing the comfort of the lining to decide whether there was enough floss on the inner wall?

YC Wee
8th January 2018

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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