Crimson Sunbird – juvenile male feeding on Malayan Mistletoe

“Saw a number of Crimson Sunbirds (Aethopyga siparaja siparaja) feeding on the fruit and nectar of Malayan Mistletoe (Dendrophthae pentandra).

SunbirdC jv-m-Loranthus pentandra [AmarSingh]

“Some images of a very young juvenile male taken 8 days apart. Details on juveniles are lacking for the region (Wells 2007). Images above and below were taken on 16th…

SunbirdC jv-m-Loranthus pentandra [AmarSingh]

“…and the two images below were taken on 24th January 2018. I believe they are the same bird as it is the exact same feeding tree.

SunbirdC jv-m-Loranthus pentandra [AmarSingh]

“Note that even on 16th January, when I felt the bird had recently fledged, there is presence of some red on the throat (see top image). At this time the bird was largely dependent on feeding from the parent (adult female) but could do some self-nectar feeding (see image second from top). Eight days later the bird looks more mature and confident and has faint mustacial streak developing (above). It still had some juvenile begging behaviour but feed frequently on nectar by itself (below).

SunbirdC jv-m-Loranthus pentandra [AmarSingh]

“Note bright orange feet and bill. The iris is dark brown as in the adults (reviewed the many images I took). I suspect, also from looking at many images online, that the red throat is an early feature in male juveniles.

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
16th and 24th January 2018

Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Fruit and vegetable farming surrounded by secondary growth at city fringe

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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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