Saturday, 1 March 2014

Pale-billed flowerpecker

Dicaeum erythrorhynchos

Photo by Rakesh Dhareshwar (Birding in India)

Common name:
pale-billed flowerpecker (en); pica-flores-de-bico-vermelho (pt); dicée à bec rouge (fr); picaflores piquirrojo (es); lachsschnabel-mistelfresser (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Dicaeidae

Range:
This species is found in Nepal and most of India, with the exception of the north-westernmost parts of the country, and also in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and western Myanmar.

Size:
These tiny birds are 8 cm long and weigh 4-8 g.

Habitat:
The pale-billed flowerpecker is found in moist tropical forests, mangroves, plantations and also in rural gardens and within urban areas. They are highly dependent on the presence of Loranthus mistletoes.

Diet:
They feed on the berries and seeds of epiphytic plants such as Loranthus, Viscum and Muntingia. They also sip nectar from flowers.

Breeding:
Pale-billed flowerpeckers breed in February-June. The nest is a pear-shaped structure made of spider webs, plant fibres, moss and pieces of bark and rotten wood. It is suspended from the tip of a twig, 3-7 m above the ground. The female lays 1-3 white eggs. There is no information regarding the incubation and fledgling periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, not uncommon in Myanmar and locally abundant in India. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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