FLOWERPECKERS IN THE PHILIPPINES

ADRIAN CONSTANTINO shares with us a collection of photographs and videos of the flowerpeckers of the philippines as published in birding adventure philippines website.

FLOWERPECKERS IN THE PHILIPPINES                                                                       by Adri Constantino

The Philippines is home to a number of flowerpeckers, small, stout passerine birds, with short thick decurved bills designed for eating small fruits as well as to sip nectar from flowers. They are really small and very active birds and is usually found in a mixed feeding flock together with other birds such as sunbirds, white-eyes, tits and fantails. Here in the Philippines, most flowerpeckers can be seen in the forests , from lowland up to montane areas, while the common ones can sometimes be found in secondary growth and some backyard gardens. They are one of the primary seed dispersal agents for small berries as well as mistletoes, parasitic plants that grow on the crowns of other plant species and depend on birds for propagation.

This one here is a Palawan Flowerpecker carrying a small berry. This one ranges in Palawan only. It is one of the more common flowerpeckers and sometimes it can be seen in the gardens in the capital city of Puerto Princesa.

Palawan Flowerpecker

This is a high elevation Mindanao endemic – Olive-capped Flowerpecker and can be found only in forests above 900 meters. The most reliable site for this flowerpecker is in Mt. Kitanglad Mountain Range, home of the mighty Philippine Eagle.

Olive-capped Flowerpecker

Then this is probably the most common endemic flowerpecker – Red-keeled Flowerpecker. It ranges all over the country except Palawan and is believed by field biologists to bully the ultra-rare Cebu Flowerpecker in Cebu.

This is a Buzzing Flowerpecker, a fairly drab-looking frugivore that gives a continuous high-pitched buzzing call. It ranges Luzon, Mindanao, Samar and Leyte and Bohol.
This picture is from Mindanao …
Buzzing Flowerpecker
while this video is from Mt. Polis in Luzon. Notice the difference.

Then, there is this Pygmy Flowerpecker, the smallest flowerpecker in the Philippines. It is characterized by its very thin bill, narrow white throat and can be found all throughout the Philippines except in the island of Panay.

There are a few more endemic flowerpeckers like this Flame-crowned Flowerpecker (left) and this Bicolored Flowerpecker (right). The Flame-crowned Flowerpecker ranges in the high elevation mountains of Luzon and Mindanao. The one on the left was taken in Mt. Polis, Luzon while the Bicolored Flowerpecker is a lowland flowerpecker distinguished from the Red-keeled by its very stout bill.

Other endemic flowerpeckers include the Striped Flowerpecker – similar to a Grey-cheeked Flycatcher but this one wags its tail sideways – found in most islands through the Philippines; the uncommon lowland fruigivore Olive-backed Flowerpecker – found in Luzon, Mindanao, Samar and Leyte; the ultra rare Cebu Flowerpecker – found only in the remaining forests of Cebu, a small island in Central Philippines; the highly localized Whiskered Flowerpecker found only in the highlands of Mindanao; Scarlet-collared Flowerpecker from Mindoro and Visayan Flowerpecker, a split from Red-keeled Flowerpecker, found in Negros.

There are two non-endemic flowerpeckers: this gorgeous Orange-bellied Flowerpecker ranging from most Philippine islands
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker

And this Fire-breasted Flowerpecker from high elevation mountains of Luzon and Mindanao.

Fire-breasted Flowerpecker

So next time you go out birding, make sure you pay attention to these small flowerpeckers, they maybe your next tick! 🙂

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