Tropical Kingbird feeding on Bocconia arillate seeds. Photo by Eduardo Libby

Grabbing Fruits on the Fly… literally

Every year, when migratory Vireos are getting ready to fly back to their breeding habitats in North America, they make sure to feed on the seeds of Bocconia frutescens. When the fruits open, the black seeds, covered partially with a red aril, are suspended on the middle of a ring… ready to eat.

Philadelphia Vireo feeding on Bocconia seeds. Photo by Eduardo Libby
A Philadelphia Vireo has just caught a red-arillated black seed of Bocconia frutescens.

Lots of birds feed on Bocconia, but I especially like watching the vireos and the flycatchers hovering while choosing the tastiest seed only to grab it with absolute precision in an instant. The Red-eyed, Philadelphia and Yellow-bellied Vireos all get their share in this way. However, larger or less agile birds like Tanagers, and Thrushes perch on a nearby branch or in the inflorescence and feast on the seeds as well.

I uploaded more of this series of photos to the Costa Rican Galleries on my Photoshelter website and I will appreciate it if you visit there! Click here or on any image to get there.

Tropical Kingbird feeding on Bocconia arillate seeds. Photo by Eduardo Libby
Tropical Kingbird hovering to eat a black Bocconia frutescens seed with its coveted red aril.

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