Blue-crowned Hanging-parrot and mistletoe flowers

posted in: Feeding-plants, Plants | 0

Loke Peng Fai photographed a male Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot (Loriculus galgulus) among the flowers of the semi-parasitic Malayan Mistletoe (Dendrophthae pentandra) plant (below).

HangingParrotBR-mistletoe [LokePengFai]

The enlarged images below are in sequence. As the hanging-parrot applies slight pressure on the tip of the flower bud, the petals unfold.

HangingParrotBR-mistletoe [LokePengFai] 1

This mistletoe bears so-called exploding flowers. Sunbirds, flowerpeckers and hanging-parrots trigger the flowers to open by exerting slight pressure on the flower bud.

HangingParrotBR-mistletoe [LokePengFai] 2

This allows the birds to harvest the nectar by inserting their slender tongue into the flowers, thus assist in pollination. Without these birds the flowers will not form fruits.

HangingParrotBR-mistletoe [LokePengFai] 3

Mistletoes are epiphytes, meaning that they grow on the branches of other plants. They are semi-parasitic, getting water and nutrients from the host but manufacturing their own food from the green leaves.

HangingParrotBR-mistletoe [LokePengFai] 5

Birds eat the fruits and deposit the seeds on the branches of trees they subsequently visit LINK.

Loke Peng Fai
Singapore
18th March 2017

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behavior through photography and videography to a wider audience.

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