Spectacled Spiderhunter: Cross-species feeding

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“An odd feeding behaviour I saw was by a juvenile/immature Spectacled Spiderhunter (Arachnothera flavigaster).

“In the past 5-6 weeks I have seen quite a number of juvenile/immature Spectacled Spiderhunters at fruiting trees. So was not surprised to see another. But this bird was chasing others, especially the Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis) for food.

“I am used to competitive feeding at fruiting tress and often the Spectacled Spiderhunter is the main ‘bully’ chasing away the others. But this bird was behaving like typical juveniles begging for food. I saw 4 episodes. 2 were aerial and 2 on branches.

“The juvenile/immature Spectacled Spiderhunter would chase an Asian Glossy Starling for food all around the tree. Once alighted on a branch it would spread out its wings and beg like a typical juvenile, with the accompanying pleading calls. In aerial pursuit it would actually have beak to beak contact with a starling.

“The behaviour was fast and hard to capture. The attached image shows the Spectacled Spiderhunter begging but unfortunately the starling was higher on the same branch and not in view. I did not see any actual food transfer to the spiderhunter.

“Cross-species bird feeding does occur, see: HERE and HERE on You Tube.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
7th August 2015

Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Fringe of forest reserve with overgrown secondary jungle

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