This bird is rather plain looking, it not is endangered or rare but still getting a full frame photograph was a thrill!
Pale-billed flowerpecker (Dicaeum erythrorhynchos) is a tiny bird, 8 cm long, and is one of the smallest birds occurring in most parts of southern India and Sri Lanka. It is reportedly common in the southern India but in Nagpur we get to see them seldom and that too very high up in trees, so when last week in Pench I saw this individual a few feet away I was ecstatic.
The bird is plain brownish to olive green. The underside is buff olive and does not contrast greatly with the upperparts and not whitish as in the Nilgiri Flowerpecker of the Western Ghats and Nilgiri hills nor is it streaked as in the Thick-billed Flowerpecker. The Nilgiri Flowerpecker has a pale supercilium unlike this species which has no marking on the head. The Sri Lankan race ceylonense Babault, 1920 – is greyer and smaller than the nominate race of peninsular India. It has been considered one of the early flowerpeckers, originating in the Malay Peninsula, to colonize the Indian Subcontinent.
In forested areas, they often visit the flowers of Loranthus (=Dendrophthoe) and Viscum species, the seeds of which are dispersed mainly by this and other flowerpecker species. The berries of these epiphytic parasites are usually swallowed whole (they sometimes pinch fruits and discard the seeds while feeding on the pulp but this technique is more often used by the syntopic Thick-billed Flowerpecker) and the seeds are voided after a rapid passage through their gut in about three to four minutes. The voided seed has a sticky coating and the bird applies its vent to the surface of a suitable perch and may turn around so as to get rid of the seed, which then sticks onto the branch where it may subsequently germinate. The flowers of Dendrophthoe falcata are pollinated by this species. The flower has a mechanism that causes pollen to explosively spray on the plumage of the visiting bird.
In urban areas, they are particularly attracted to introduced fruit trees such as Muntingia calabura, the fruits of which are swallowed whole. They also feed by crushing ripe berries and sipping the juice. They may also sip nectar from flowers such as those of Sterculia colorata and Woodfordia floribunda, pollinating them in the process.
These flowerpeckers breed from February to June. A second brood may be raised in September. The nest is a small pendant purse-like structure made of cobwebs, fibre, moss and down and hung from the tip of a twig high up in a tree. The opening is a slit and a clutch of two or three eggs is laid.