Birds are attracted to trees not only for the food they provide

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Birds do not visit trees only to seek out food. Yes, there will be plentiful birds when the trees are in flowers and/or fruits. After all, flowers attract nectar-feeding birds and fruits are popular with fruit-eating birds. Flowers, fruits and also leaves attract insects that in turn attract birds.

Road lined with Golden Penda trees.

For the last few months I have been observing the Golden Penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) trees. I have chosen this tree for convenience as they line both sides of the road fronting my house. This is a common roadside tree that was introduced about 20 years ago. It is an exotic species, native to the north-east of Australia LINK. My observations apply to any other trees, native or exotic. After all, any trees will attract birds – some more, others less.

Red-whiskered Bulbul feeding on Golden Penda flowers.

At regular intervals scattered Golden Penda trees put forth bunches of yellow flowers. These flowers attract sunbirds, mynas, bulbuls, hanging-parrots, lorikeets, etc. – see HERE, HERE and HERE.

Nest of Zebra Dove in a Golden Penda tree.

The trees also provide nesting sites for birds the like the Zebra Dove LINK. I am sure other birds also nest among the branches, only that I have yet to document them.

Birds also take shelter among the branches of trees during rains and if the rain is light, to soak in the rain. Trees are where most birds indulge in their comfort behaviour like feather preening, head-scratching and stretching. Or simply to rest or indulge in courtship and mating. Come dusk many seek out the branches of trees to roost.

The video below is a compilation of the many bird species that visit the tree during the last year or so.

These include Pink-necked Green-pigeon Treron vernans (preen), Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus (preen), Asian Glossy Starling Aplonis panayensis (preen), Common Flameback Dinopium javanense (feed), Oriental White-eye Zosterops palpebrosus (feed), Lineated Barbet Megalaima lineata (rest), Zebra Dove Geopelia striata (preen), Black-necked Oriole, Oriolus chinensis (courtship), Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris (rest), Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier (feed) and Javan Myna Acridotheres javanicus (feed).

YC Wee
Singapore
19th June 2018

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