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Flowerpeckers: Dicaeidae

Behavior And Reproduction

Flowerpeckers easily twist and turn while roaming among foliage. They actively move their wings and sharply call out while feeding. The birds are territorial, with males chasing intruders in weaving flight over their territory. The birds are usually found singly, in pairs, or small groups, but sometimes join with different types of birds. They often sit quietly on perches for long periods of time. When vocal, they give out simple, faint metallic chirps and clicks, and high-pitched twittering. Some species produce a series of rapid back-and-forth notes.


Flowerpeckers are named for their tendency to peck at flowers with their bills for nectar, seeds, and small insects. One species of flowerpecker native to Australia is the mistletoebird, which pecks on mistletoe berries. Within a half an hour after eating the berry, it is excreted. Because mistletoe is considered a parasitic plant on trees, the mistletoe bird is sometimes considered a pest.

Reproduction behavior of flowerpeckers is not known very well. Courtship rituals include flitting around females, calling out to them, and fanning their tails. They generally nest in pairs. The description of eggs is still unknown in some species. Males and females share duties on the construction of nests, incubation (process of sitting on eggs before hatching) of eggs, and feeding of the young. Open nests are hung from thick bushes, shrubs, or trees, and are made in the shape of a cup or pendant with a narrow side entrance near the top. Nest materials consist of vegetable material, dried flowers, lichen, feathers, grass, or small roots, all of which are held together with cobwebs and lined with vegetable down. Some nests are decorated with insect waste matter or other debris. Most eggs are white, but a few species lay spotted ones. The female lays usually two eggs, but one to four eggs are possible. The incubation period is about 15 days, and the nestling period (time necessary to take care of young birds unable to leave nest) is also about 15 days.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsFlowerpeckers: Dicaeidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker (dicaeum Ignipectus): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, FLOWERPECKERS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS