Red-whiskered Bulbuls eating leaves

on 23rd March 2018

On a light drizzling evening in October 2017, I noticed numerous Red-whiskered Bulbuls (Pycnonotus jocosus) gathering in a Hong Kong Orchid Tree (Bauhinia purpurea x var. ‘Blakeana’) before flying to their roosting trees nearby LINK (above, below).

BulbulRW-Bauhinia l

Some came to rest on the branches but others were pecking on the edges of the leaves and eating the pieces (above).

Red-whiskered Bulbuls are mainly frugivores. However, there have been a few reports of them feeding on animal and plant materials like leaves, flowers, buds and nectar LINK 1; LINK 2; LINK 3; LINK 4.

Many birds do eat leaves – Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis), parakeets, among others. These birds do not feed regularly on leaves. Only hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin) and Owl Parrot (Strigops habroptilus) obtain most of their energy from leaves – see HERE.

YC Wee
8th October 2017

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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