Update on the nesting Purple-naped Spiderhunters

I revisited the site and observed the nesting Purple-naped Spiderhunters on 4th May 2023. Observation was intermittent from 7.30-9.30am (occasionally ‘distracted’ by other birds). 

The birds appear to be incubating eggs. There was no activity at the nest for the first 45 minutes of observation. Only the male was seen around the vicinity of the nest (2-10 meters), possibly on ‘security’ detail looking out for threats. I saw the female emerge after 45 minutes. I missed her return to the nest. I did not see the male enter but could have missed it. 

Assuming they do not lay eggs at night, and as the nest was fairly complete when I first saw it on 1st May 2023, the incubation would have started on 2nd or 3rd May 2023. 

I saw the male consume 2 ants while perched on a branch near the nest (see Image 1; ant ID not known). Insects are part of the diet (usually spiders); good to document actual feeding on ants.

Image 1: Male Purple-naped Spiderhunter attempting to pick up an ant. 4 May 2023. 

Image 2 is an unobstructed view of the nesting site from the other side to try and understand the nest. The dead Macaranga gigantea (Giant Macaranga) leaf is resting on the branches of a young sapling at the location of a fork. One end is blocked by leaves & other material. The nest entry is on the other side. The nest itself is located at the middle and upper part of the leaf. David Well commented on the earlier post “do I detect spiderhunter-type bobbles of stitched silk on the Macaranga leaf?”. I had missed this – the birds use ‘pop-rivets’ of spider web silk to anchor the nest as seen in some other spiderhunter nests.

Image 2: An unobstructed view of the nesting site from the other side. 4 May 2023.


Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

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