No visit to the Cameron Highlands is complete without watching the Silver-eared Mesia (Leiothrix argentauris tahanensis). Food for such a common bird is not well documented. Wells 2007 says “no animal prey as yet identified” for this species locally. They are a common participant of mixed foraging party (bird wave) and often call out while in a mixed group. Much of the foraging I have seen them do is scrambling about in the undergrowth, searching the vegetation. Hence I suspect prey that is taken is not easily seen. I have observed more episodes of fruit feeding than animal prey. The above image shows a female feeding on pink-white fruit on a large tree (unidentified plant).
Previous food sources I have observed include:
- Taking orange-red berries off a bush (unidentified plant).
- Fledged juveniles was fed purple berries (unidentified plant); did not seen any animal prey fed to young.
- Unidentified orange berries (a favourite of many species, not a ficus)
- Feeding on a large green caterpillar.
- Feeding on worm/larvae.
- Insect prey, possibly a spider.
Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr) – Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Location: 1,700m ASL, Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia
Habitat: Primary montane forest
Date: 12th November 2019
Equipment: Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone