Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Thick-billed flowerpecker

Dicaeum agile

Photo by Umang Dutt (Flickr)

Common name:
thick-billed flowerpecker (en); pica-flores-de-bico-grosso (pt); dicée à bec épais (fr); picaflores picogrueso (es); dickschnabel-mistelfresser (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Dicaeidae

This species is found in southern Asia, in several disjunct populations. The subspecies D. a. agile is found across most of India, in northern Pakistan and Nepal. The subspecies D. a. modestum is found from eastern Bangladesh and Myanmar to Vietnam and southern Thailand and there are another 11 isolated subspecies spread across Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia and East Timor.

These birds are 10-12 cm long and weigh around 9 g.

The thick-billed flowerpecker is mostly found in moist tropical and sub-tropical forests and scrublands, but also in some dry forests and plantations.

They mainly feed on berries, fruits and nectar, but will also take some insects and spiders.

Thick-billed flowerpeckers breed in December-June. The nest is a purse-like bag, made of plant fibres, spider webs and plant down, placed hanging from a thin horizontal branch of a tree, 3-15 m above the ground. The nest is often placed near ant nests, possibly for protection. The female lays 2-4 rosy-white or pink eggs with brownish spots, which are incubated for around 13 days. The chicks fledge about 18 days after hatching.

IUCN status -  LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is reported to be rare to not uncommon. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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