Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker

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Conservation status: LEAST CONCERN
Common name: Scarlet-backed flowerpecker
Scientific name: Dicaeum cruentatum
Type: Bird
Diet: berries, nectar and small insects
Length: 9 cm
Weight: 7 – 8 g

This is the most common species of flowerpeckers in Singapore. It is found in parks, gardens, rural areas, forest edges, and occasionally in mangroves. It is usually associated with mistletoes, where it feeds on the fruit, passing out the seeds through its gut. In the process the flowerpecker helps in the pollinating process. The sticky seeds are stuck to the anus, which can only be removed by rubbing against the tree branch, thereby dispersing the seeds, which will germinate on the branch where they adhere to.

This flowerpecker can often be seen taking a leaf bath, either after a rain or when garden plants are sprayed with water.

References:

  1.  BirdLife International (2012). “Dicaeum cruentatum“. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.Version 2013.2.
  2. Brazil, Mark (2009). Birds of East Asia
  3. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (https://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg)

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