Little Cuckoo-dove – fruit feeding

on 5th February 2022

Post 1. Male.

I was at this hill station and saw a number of birds at a fruiting tree. The tree was located at the back of other trees in a ravine with limited access. It was quite tall, reaching the canopy top (the height was hard to estimate as located in a ravine). It was fruiting extensively with small green berries. The identity of tree is currently unknown (see Post 5 for the name of the tree).

Post 2. Male.

The two most interesting bird to see there feeding on fruit were Little Cuckoo Doves (Macropygia ruficeps malayana) and Verditer Flycatchers (Eumyias thalassinus thalassoides). There were 3 Little Cuckoo Doves feeding actively, scrambling about on the tree like squirrels (at least 1 male and 1 female). I have previously observed them, at other hill stations, feeding on berries in other trees as well as taking rice from the drain outlets of hotels and drinking at hot springs. Wells (1999) notes them taking chilies but predominantly seeds and small fruit (including figs) from tree crowns and “not reported foraging on the ground”. There are some differing opinions on this and Jeyarajasingam (2012) says “feeds largely on the ground”. While Morten (2000) notes that they feed on “fruit and berries low in trees or on the ground”. My observations have been predominantly tree fruit feeding but I have seen them come to the ground to get rice in drains.

Post 3. Male.

Bird observed feeding on the fruit:

Little Cuckoo-dove (Macropygia ruficeps malayana)

Black-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus atriceps)

Red-eyed Bulbul (Pycnonotus brunneus brunneus)

Spectacled Bulbul (Pycnonotus erythropthalmos)

Scaly-Breasted Bulbul (Pycnonotus squamatus webberi)

Cream-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus simplex)

Buff-vented Bulbul (Iole charlottae crypta)

Verditer Flycatcher (Eumyias thalassinus)

Blue-winged Leafbird (Chloropsis cochinchinensis moluccensis)

Lesser Green Leafbird (Chloropsis cyanopogon)

Everett’s White-eye (Zosterops everetti tahanensis)

Fire-breasted Flowerpecker (Dicaeum ignipectus dolichorhynchum)

Post 4. Female.

Bird present but unsure if feeding on fruit:

Blue-eared Barbet (Megalaima australis) and other barbets

Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike (Hemipus picatus intermedius)

Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica)

Temminck’s Sunbird (Aethopyga temminckii)

Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra cinereicollis)

Grey-breasted Spiderhunter (Arachnothera modesta modesta)

Post 5. The tree – Identified by Ali Ibrahim (formerly with the National Parks Board, Singapore) as Glochidion zeylanicum var. zeylanicum

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr) – Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Location: Taiping, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: 500-600 meter ASL, primary jungle

Date: 18th February 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)