Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker

Scientific Name: Dicaeum cruentatum

Malay Name: Sepah-Puteri Belakang Merah

Chinese Name: 朱背啄花鸟

Range: Found from the Himalayan foothills to Southern China, mainland Southeast Asia, Sumatra and Borneo.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: cruentatum, sumatranum, niasense, batuense, simalurense, nigrimentum.

Local Subspecies: cruentatum

Size: 8.5-9 cm

Identification: Male looks distinctive with bright red upperparts, blackish head-/breast-sides and blue-blackish wings contrasting with the mostly white underparts. Female is a drab brown with a bright red rump and uppertail-coverts. Juvenile resembles female but has a red-pink based lower mandible and uniform upperparts with orange-tinged uppertail-coverts.

Habitat: Parks, gardens, wooded areas, secondary growth and forest edge.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feeds on flowers and fruits

Local Status: Very common resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Suitable habitats like Bidadari, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Chinese/Japanese Gardens, Pasir Ris Park, Sungei Buloh, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Bukit Batok Nature Park and Central Catchment Forest.


BirdLife International. (2016). Dicaeum cruentatum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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