Unusual food item of the Yellow-rumped Flycatcher

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I was watching a Yellow-rumped Flycatcher (Ficedula zanthopygia) male forage this morning (17th March 2022) at the Kledang Saiong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak. It largely took insects by aerial sallies or ‘hover-snatching’. But I was surprised when it took the flowers of an inflorescence – saw this a few times (see image with close-ups – below).

I have seen this creeper with a globular flowering inflorescence a number of times. I think it is a Cephalanthus species, a genus of flowering plants in the family Rubiaceae, commonly known as the buttonbush.

I have seen birds feed on flowers to get to the nectar; especially Sunbirds and Spiderhunters feeding on the flowers of Poikilospermum suaveolens. But this is the first time I have seen a flycatcher do this. Yellow-rumped Flycatchers have been known to take fruit (see Wells 2007) and I have personally observed them feeding on the fruit of the Giant Mahang (Macaranga gigantea).


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

17th March 2022


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