I have watched the Spiderhunters that visit the flowering Spathodea campanulata (African Tulip Trees) extensively and would like to share some further observations. A number of immature birds also visited the trees; in particular the immatures of the Spectacled Spiderhunter (Arachnothera flavigaster).
When I first saw this behaviour (Post 1 & 2) I thought it could be aggressive behaviour to chase off other feeding spiderhunters. But I saw these birds also chasing their own species and posturing in this manner towards adult Spectacled Spiderhunters. So this could be immature birds begging for food.
Wells (2007) reports similar behaviour seen before copulation, however I did not observe any mating. This particular bird did this for close to 2 minutes, with calls, allowing me some distant images. I also saw immature Grey-breasted Spiderhunters (Arachnothera modesta modesta) begging for food from adults
Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr) – Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Location: Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Secondary growth adjacent to limestone outcroppings
Date: 10th December 2020
Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone