Purple-naped Sunbird – Frugivory (Blue Mahang)

posted in: Feeding-plants | 0

“The Blue Mahang (Macaranga heynei) is a fast-growing tree that likes full sun. Hence often found by the side of a path in the forest. It grows up to 10 meters in height LINK. The fruit are small, purple-black, and often in often 2 lobes. Over the years I have noticed that the best time to see birds at the tree is around 10-11am. I suspect it take the rising sun to help ‘ripen’ the fruit. Hence there is a short feeding spell/period. Too early and the birds have yet to come; too late and the crop for the day is gone.

Female at the tree.

“A large number of birds feed on this tree; see list below. On this occasion I saw 8 species at two different sites. Of note was my first record of the Purple-naped Sunbird (Hypogramma hypogrammicum nuchale) feeding on Macaranga heynei. The larger birds are able to pick off the fruit but smaller birds, including the Purple-naped Sunbird have to flutter to reach the fruit. This makes photographic documentation of feeding difficult (I have blur images of the actual feeding).”

Female at the tree.

Birds seen feeding on the fruit (past records):
Plain Sunbird Anthreptes simplex
Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Chalcoparia singalensis
Brown-throated Sunbird Anthreptes malacensis malacensis
Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker Prionochilus percussus ignicapilla
Everett’s White-eye Zosterops everetti tahanensis
Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica
Yellow-rumped Flycatcher Ficedula zanthopygia
Pin-striped Tit Babbler Macronus gularis
Grey-bellied Bulbul Pycnonotus cyaniventris
Hairy-Backed Bulbul Tricholestes criniger criniger
Red-eyed Bulbul Pycnonotus brunneus brunneus
Spectacled Bulbul Pycnonotus erythropthalmos
Yellow-vented Bulbuls Pycnonotus goiavier
Lesser Green Leafbird Chloropsis cyanopogon
Asian Glossy Starling Aplonis panayensis strigata

A composite focusing on the underside of the tail; the lower feathers are tipped white.

Birds seen feeding on the fruit on 16th June 2018:
Purple-naped Sunbird Hypogramma hypogrammicum nuchale New
Plain Sunbird Anthreptes simplex
Everett’s White-eye Zosterops everetti tahanensis
Grey-headed Canary Flycatchers Culicicapa ceylonensis ceylonensi New
Pin-striped Tit Babbler Macronus gularis gularis
Hairy-Backed Bulbul Tricholestes criniger criniger
Red-eyed Bulbul Pycnonotus brunneus brunneus
Lesser Green Leafbird Chloropsis cyanopogon

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
16th June 2018

Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Trail along primary jungle

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