Brown-throated Sunbird – ‘new’ nectar source

posted in: Feeding-plants, Sunbirds | 2

“Saw a pair of Brown-throated Sunbirds (Anthreptes malacensis malacensis) today with two juveniles in tow, begging for food. One parent led them to feed on the nectar of the Tamarind tree flowers (Tamarindus indica).

“This is the first time I have seen any bird feed on the nectar of the Tamarind tree flowers and appreciate any other observations. The fruit (a pod) of course is well known and used by humans and also consumed by some parrots. A search did not reveal any images or articles on the flowers as a nectar sources for birds.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
22nd April 2018

Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Urban environment

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2 Responses

  1. S. Devasahayam

    Tamarindus indicus is well known to be bee pollinated in India and Africa. Bee flowers typically contain small amounts of concentrated nectar, while bird flowers have larger amounts of dilute nectar. Some bird species attempt to source nectar from bee flowers also occasionally. There are two records of sunbirds (Nectariniidae) and white-eyes (Zosteropidae) visiting Tamarindus indicus for nectar in Madasgascar (The Birds of Africa: Volume VIII. The Malagasy Region: Madagascar, Seychelles, Comoros & Mascarenes By: Roger Safford & Frank Hawkins). But unfortunately I couldn’t download the relevant pages of the book from the internet and I am not sure of the species.

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  2. Thanks for the info, Devas

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