Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sunbird at my corridor

A boring day was brightened a bit by this common Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarina jugularis) that decidedly flew up 11 storeys high to a plant along my corridor. Since I managed to take a couple photos, thus, also looked up more about this bird from Ria's Sungei Buloh page.

From the webpage, it mentioned,

"The Olive-backed Sunbird is very bold and often builds nests close to and even in human habitation (balconies, porches, corridors). Not surprisingly then, it is among the most common Sunbirds in this region.

Sunbirds survive mainly on nectar, although they may snack on the occasional insect. Their nectar extraction equipment include: a long, slender, decurved bill with fine serration along the margins of both mandibles; and a tubular, deeply cleft tongue. Males are particularly territorial and may defend a good feeding site from other Sunbirds.

Although it is said that they cannot hover like true hummingbirds (which are found only in tropical Americas), Sunbirds can hover briefly. But they do prefer to cling to a nearby stem or vegetation as they sip nectar. They may "steal" the nectar by piercing through the base of the flower than going through the front of the flower (thus avoiding payment of pollinating services in exchange for the nectar reward).

They forage both at tree tops and among lower bushes. Like other Sunbirds, the Olive-backed male is more colourful than the female. In fact, females of most species of Sunbirds look very similar."

Status in Singapore: Very common resident throughout the island, including North and South offshore islands.

Though its a very common bird, I still like you :-)


TS said...

Same plant outside my house too! Also see these little fellows picking on the flowers. ;p

YC said...

One of the few birds that have adapted to high-rise living in Singapore.

Unknown said...

that's insightful. Thanks for sharing

Sam said...

hey just passing by and spent about an hour reading your blog and I am very impressed that there are passionate people like yourself and your friends who are helping to record and protect our native wildlife.thanks for sharing

And I am wondering also, where in Changi exactly can one explore the tidal dezinens as seen in your blog? And how low must the tide be to see them? I would love to check out what you have seen.

Unknown said...

Hi Sam, thanks for your encouragement. Glad you enjoyed what's in the blog and you'll be amazed to realize that Singapore still has significant rich natural heritage. But they will be all gone if you think there is nothing.

Changi beach is quite a long stretch and there are many spots where you can find marine creatures thriving. Sadly, poaching is also very active so maybe one day, we might have nothing left. Tide below 0.2m will be great.

To go alone, you will find it more difficult to spot some creatures and I'll encourage you to join any of the shore walks as advertised at For eg, Naked Hermit Crabs or Blue water volunteers have such trips where you can participate and learn and see more at the same time. :-)

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