Bridelia tomentosa fruit, a new food item for the Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker Prionochilus maculatus

posted in: Feeding-plants | 0

I had previously reported my observations on the diet of the Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker (Prionochilus maculatus) (see reference) which include:

1.    Fruit of the Ficus racemosa (Cluster Fig), Ficus BenjaminaFicus villosaMelastoma malabathricum (Straits rhododendron) and Clidemia hirta (Hairy Clidemia).

2.    I have also seen them inspecting the underside of leaves for animal prey – possibly spiders, larvae or caterpillars.

3.    On one occasion I had encountered a bird as part of a lowland mixed foraging party (bird wave).

On 2nd March 2023 at the Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia, I observed a bird taking Bridelia tomentosa fruit. I failed to get images of the feeding activity. An image of the bird attached with the brilliant crown displayed.

Image 1: Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker displays its brightly coloured crown.


Image 2: Yellow-breasted flowerpecker with Bridelia tomentosa fruit in beak.


Wells (2007) reports the possibility of the Yellow-breasted Flowerpeckers taking the pollen of Eugenia dyerana. Cheke and Mann (2001) include nectar and/or pollen of mistletoe. A review of the Macaulay Library (354 images) show birds feeding on all the fruit I mentioned above as well as at a number of different fruiting Ficus species and a Musaceae sp. (Banana). There are also images of birds at flowering Poikilospermum suaveolens and Freycinetia arborea, supporting nectar and/or pollen feeding.

The Bridelia tomentosa fruit is a favourite of many bird species. The fruit is 4.5-6.5mm in diameter, greenish when unripe and bluish-purple when ripe. The Flowerpeckers and Sunbirds that I have seen feeding on the fruit include:

Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker (Prionochilus percussus)

Yellow-vented Flowerpecker (Dicaeum chrysorrheum)

Orange-bellied Flowerpecker (Dicaeum trigonostigma)

Plain Flowerpecker (Dicaeum minullum)

Ruby-cheeked Sunbird (Chalcoparia singalensis)

A composite image of some of the other Flowerpeckers feeding on Bridelia tomentosa fruit seen yesterday is attached.

Image 3: Composite picture of different flowerpeckers feeding on Bridelia tomentosa.



1.    Amar-Singh HSS (2021). Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker – diet. Bird Ecology Study Group.

2.    Wells, D.R. (2007). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 2 (Passarines). Christopher Helm, London.

3.    Robert A Cheke, Clive F Mann, Richard Allen (2001). Sunbirds: A Guide to the Sunbirds, Flowerpeckers, Spiderhunters and Sugarbirds of the World. Helm Identification Guides

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia


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