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Booth Museum Bird of the Month, October 2019: Flowerpecker Dicaeum sp.

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Flowerpeckers are October’s Bird of the Month.

Flowerpeckers are tiny birds that occur in Australasia and southern Asia. The genus Dicaeum contains over 40 species. The pygmy flowerpecker is only 10cm long, while the largest is the mottled flowerpecker at 18cm. The majority of flowerpecker species are resilient and not endangered.

Flowerpeckers have curved beaks and tubular tongues, which help them to feed on nectar. In certain species the tongue also has a feathery tip to further aid in nectar collection. They will also eat insects, spiders and berries, particularly mistletoe. Flowerpeckers are important dispersers of seeds and pollen. They make little pendant nests that dangle from trees.

Kerrie Curzon, Collections Assistant and Lee Ismail, Curator of Natural Sciences