Olive-backed Sunbirds feeding chicks

“Attached are some images of the nesting Olive-backed Sunbirds (Nectarinia jugularis) feeding their chicks with a variety of prey, including praying mantis (above). I noticed that both parent birds tend to give food more often to the chick on the left than the one on the right. I wonder whether it is nature’s way to ensure that at least one chick will survive when there is a shortage of food. But in this case it does not seem to be so.

“There were in fact many different ‘dishes’ on the menu – various species of caterpillers (above left), insects (?above right), berries and even ‘seafood’, – a tiny hermit crab LINK. So, why is the chick on the left given this special treatment? Is it because it happens to be a male? I hope someone can enlighten me.

“The photos were taken on 30/06/12 and 07/07/12 in Pasir Ris Nature Park.”

Raymond Poon
Singapore
22nd July 2012

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