© Spectacled Spiderhunter Visits Malay Apple Blooms

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“Sunbursts of clustered, Chinese pink blooms of Malay Apples (Eugenia malaccensis) a.k.a. Jambu Merah\Jambu Bol is much to behold. They sprouted from branches, presented colourful profusions, lured insects and birds to be pollinated into edible fruits (above, below).

“Foothill orchards are favourite haunts for Spectacled Spiderhunters (Arachnothera flavigaster). In addition to visiting durian (Durio zibethinus) blooms a different species as previously observed, these birds too appear to have much affinity to Malay Apple trees; to perch and when in bloom, to sip nectar (below).

“A family of three observed. One bird was prospecting under bark of tree branch for insects (below).

“Territorial adult watched over assets by using nearby tree as watch post, warded off intruders and preened. (below)

“An adult hovering on the spot, sipping nectar blooms was also noted; but no photographic opportunities were had. An adult image exposing its silky tongue is provided here (below).

“Unless perched beside each other for size difference, discerning sex of individual adult birds with all black bills with reddish base posed a challenge. Good photographic opportunities with a juvenile revealing a salmon coloured lower curved mandible (below)…

“…and fluttering its wings begging to be fed were had instead (below).

“In view that so little is described in texts of juvenile Spectacled Spiderhunter and few photographs available; it deserves a separate article … soon to follow.”

Avian Writer Daisy O’Neill
Penang Malaysia
23rd September 2018

Copyright article and all copy images – Courtesy of Daisy O’Neill Bird Conservation Fund

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