All-day dining at the MacArthur outlet

posted in: Feeding-plants | 0

Yes, the MacArthur outlet in my garden is attracting plenty of diners. They only come during the cool hours of the day, especially during the early mornings and late evenings. During the intervening hours it gets lone stragglers who are really hungry.

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In the mornings the MacArthur Palm (Ptychosperma macarthurii) is usually visited by a lone Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) or two (above, video below). Sometimes a Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) will drop in. Both species move slowly around the bunches of fruits, pecking carefully at the ripe ones and swallowing them whole, seeds and all. Yes, taking the fruits with the seeds may be like gobbling your food (but wait until you see how the green-pigeons gobble their food). You can always regurgitate the seeds at your leisure later on.

Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis) usually arrive in the evenings, the adults accompanied by juveniles. The adults have learnt how to swallow the fruit almost effortlessly. Not so the juveniles as they invariably drop the fruits a few times before successfully swallowing one.

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Evenings are busy periods, especially just before dusk. The Asian Glossy starlings that arrive late are usually chased off by the bigger Pink-necked Green-pigeons (Treron vernans) that fly in nosily in twos or threes. These green-pigeons have a wide gape, swallowing the fruits effortlessly in quick succession, unlike the other species (above, video below). As has been noted in an earlier post, each can easily swallow up to 17 fruits in 42 seconds. These seeds will invariably compromise their flying ability but then they will be flying to their roosting trees. There, they will regurgitate the seeds one by one at their leisure.

YC Wee
20th October 2017

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