30 July 2018 (Monday) – A fig tree (Ficus binnendijkii) laden with fruits in front of the D4 building in Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) has attracted many species of birds recently.
FRIM Zoological Branch (ZOO) researchers conducted a bird watching activity on 26 July. They identified and recorded over 10 species, namely asian glossy starling (Aplonis panayensis), greater green leafbird (Chloropsis sonnerati) and yellow vented bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier).
|ZOO researcher Nor Hazwani Ahmad Ruzman (right) and Mohammad Shahfiz Azman observing the birds.||The ficus tree named after Dr Francis Ng.|
Although a manmade forest, nearly 200 bird species from over 45 families were spotted and recorded in FRIM. The fig tree fruiting which occurs twice or three times a year provides the perfect opportunity for bird watching in the campus.
The fig tree was planted by FRIM former Deputy Director General Dr Francis Ng from a cutting collected from Perak in 1982. Former FRIM botanist K.M. Kochummen described it as a new species and named it Ficus ngii after Ng. However, the name was later updated to Ficus binnendijkii by a taxonomist who conducted research on all fig species within the Malesiana region.
|From left: the spotted asian glossy starling, greater green leafbird and yellow vented bulbul.|