People once believed the Sitibatitabua, or Pink-billed Parrotfinch (Erythrura kleinschmidti), to be a specialised fig-eater. Actually it is strongly insectivorous, though it also feeds on flower buds and fruit. This bird actively moves up and down tree trunks and vines, using its conspicuously large, heavy bill as a lever to probe likely caches and to crush dead twigs and stems. It has been seen gouging off soft bark either to access the underlying tissue or to find scale insects. The Sitibatitabua is generally restricted to undisturbed mature forest.
“Forests and Biodiversity – Too precious to lose!” is the theme of the upcoming International Day of Forests on March 21. Each day until then, we’ll be sharing information about a different bird highlighted in our special edition playing cards. We hope you enjoy learning more about the precious diversity you can find right here in our Fijian forests! #IntlForestDay #IDOF2020