“The Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot LINK and Black-naped Oriole LINK are two species that have been documented to feed on the mango fruit (Mangifera indica). Attached are images of another two species, namely the Red-breasted Parakeet (Psittacula alexandri) and Tanimbar Corella (Cacatua goffini), that were seen feeding on the fruit.
“The Red-breasted Parakeet have been encountered, on a few occasions, feeding on the mango fruit (above and below). From what have been observed, this species seemed well-adapted at peeling off the skin to savour the juicy flesh underneath. Although I have not personally seen the parakeet eating a mango fruit from the beginning, it can be deduced that there is a systematic way that this species deal with the mango. As seen from the pictures, the top portion of the fruit is always eaten first. Hanging upside down, the parakeet will use its upper mandible to act as a fulcrum, moving only its lower mandible to peel off the skin. The skin will be torn off and discarded, after which the exposed flesh will be eaten. Gradually, the outer skin of the mango remaining at the bottom will become smaller as the parakeet ate its way down. When fully consumed, the mango will be left with only its seed. A strange sight of a seed still attached to its stem and left dangling in the air is sometimes encountered. Other times, an almost fully consumed mango will be left dangling in the tree – with part of its skin intact, but devoid of flesh.
“Compared with the Red-breasted Parakeet, the Tanimbar Corella did not seemed to savour the mango as much (below). While the parakeet species was seen spending a long time savouring the mango fruit, the corella species was seen to spend little time feeding on the fruit. After tearing off and consuming little bites of the flesh, one lost interest and flew off. Another bird was seen attempting to feed from the bottom of the fruit. Perhaps, the Tanimbar Corella find it difficult to get at the flesh as it has yet to master the skill of peeling off the fruit skin?”
Kwong Wai Chong
29th December 2013