Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker – calls

on 6th January 2022

I watched a male Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum ignitum) for an extended period and recorded some calls.

Special Note: Since I used a directional mike, these calls can be heard quite clearly when played-back on the camera. They also play well on my hand-phone. But for some reason they can hardly be heard on my computer speakers, even though the waveform shows them to be loud calls. I suspect it has something to do with the very high pitched nature of the calls that does not playback well on my computer speakers. If you listen to these calls, I would suggest using the hand-phone (appreciate any insights into these issues, form someone with better audio skills).

Scarlet-backed Flowerpeckers make a variety of calls which are described in literature in many different ways. The classical calls (or common calls) are seen in sonogram/waveform above and heard on this SoundCloud link:  6 sharp, very high pitched, notes (occasionally 7) are belted out in almost same volume within a second. They are repeated 5-8 seconds apart. The bird is usually perched on the tip of high, bare branch when making these calls (below). I think Craig Robson translates them best as “tissit”.

A variation of the common calls are seen in sonogram/waveform in Post 1 and heard on this SoundCloud link:

During these calls the bird perched on a bare branch tends to have more movement and turn the head in different directions. These calls are more varied in the number of notes, frequency and quality, and are of longer duration (2-2.5 seconds).

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Secondary growth at city fringe

Date: 7th January 2019

Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone



If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Overall visits (since 2005)

Live visitors
Visitors Today

Clustrmaps (since 2016)