“This observation was the highlight of this outing to the hill station. I saw a male Little Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula westermanni westermanni) ‘attack’ a squirrel. I suspect the bird was nesting in this tall tree; I did not see the female or nest. The squirrel was probably just using that route (uncertain if it preys on bird eggs/young).
“The Little Pied Flycatcher watched it intently, with feather ruffled and crest raised (above). It would intermittently fly straight at the squirrel and ‘buzz’ it. I saw this happen four times in rapid succession (too fast for images). So much so, that the squirrel had to travel on the under-surface of the branches (below). I suspect the squirrel is the Grey-bellied Squirrel (Callosciurus caniceps). Wells 2007 notes that Little Pied Flycatcher is ‘presumed to be territorial but no confirmation of defensive behaviou’”. Considering the size difference, this is some level of courage.
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
14th March 2019
Location: ~1,800m ASL, Gunung Brinchang, Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia
Habitat: Road running through mixed secondary & primary montane forest