The Little Spiderhunter – The Praising Pollinator

Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) by Peter Ericsson

Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) by Peter Ericsson

The Little Spiderhunter – The Praising Pollinator ~ by a j mithra

The Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) is a species of long-billed nectar feeding bird in the Nectariniidae family found in the moist forests of South and Southeast Asia.

Unlike typical Sunbirds, males and females are very similar in plumage.

They are usually seen in ones or twos and frequently make a “tzeck” call and are most often found near flowering plants where they obtain nectar. They are found close to their favorite nectar bearing trees, often species of wild Musaceae or flowers in gardens.

We too have Jesus, the Rose of Sharon and the Lilly of the valley, who is sweeter than honey..

But, where is our dwelling place? Is it near Jesus?

Though these birds are called spider eaters, a lesson can be learned from them who dwell among the flowers to obtain nectar…

Though we are sinners, the WORD, which is sweeter than honey, is able to make us holy when we prefer to dwell among The Rose of Sharon…

These birds have to go in search of their favorite flowers..

But, we have the most amazing privilege of bringing the Rose of Sharon, the Lilly of the Valley, among us through our praise…

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. (Psalm 22:3)

The distinctive long beak sets it apart from other Sunbirds. The sexes are alike except for a paler base to lower mandible in the female. The male has an all black beak.
They have a buzzy “zick-zick” call that is made regularly when disturbed or when foraging. The song is series of rapid chipping notes and these can go on for long periods… While dwelling near its favorite nectar bearing trees, these birds sing for long period of time particularly when they are disturbed…

  • King Jehoshaphat disturbed God with praise when he was disturbed by his enemies..
  • Peter and Silas, disturbed God with their praise when they were disturbed by the soldiers…
  • Jonah disturbed God with his praise when he was disturbed inside the whale’s belly..
  • King Nebuchadnezzar disturbed God with his praise when his pride disturbed him..
  • The best way to disturb God when we are disturbed is to praise Him…

Do we murmur or sing praise to the Lord when we are disturbed?

Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.
Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.
For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.
Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand;
To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;
To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;
To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD. (Psalm 149)

Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) ©©Flickr

Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) ©©Flickr

The genus name Arachnothera means “spider hunter” and the species epithet refers to the long beak. About thirteen geographic races are recognized. The nominate race longirostra (Latham, 1790) is found in southwestern India, central and northeastern India, foothills of the Himalayas and into Thailand and Yunnan. Race sordida La Touche, 1921 is found in southern China and northeastern Thailand. Race pallida Delacour, 1932 is found in southeastern Thailand and C & S Indochina. The species is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Within India, there are disjunct populations in the Eastern Ghats from Lamasinghi, Vishakapatnam and parts of Orissa and the Western Ghats apart from the main distribution in north-east India that extends into Southeast Asia. A record from the Nicobar Islands is considered doubtful.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical mangrove forests, and subtropical or tropical moist montanes. It is usually found below the canopy.

They have been noted as good pollinators of wild banana species and several species of the ginger family and often visit Indian silk cotton tree and Indian coral tree for nectar.

These birds are good pollinators…

  • The extension of kingdom of God depends upon pollinators of His word…
  • Are we good pollinators of the Rose of Sharon and the Lilly of the valley?
  • Or are we just honey suckers?

It is time for us to think and rethink of our status in the kingdom of God…

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ … (II Corinthians 5:20)

Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) ©©

Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra) ©©

They are often seen in plantations in forest areas. Although they are more often seen in secondary forests or in clearings and appear to be tolerant of human activities, they have become extinct in some forest fragments. In Singapore they have gone locally extinct within the botanical garden.

The breeding season in northeastern India is March to September but mainly May to August and in southern India it breeds from December to August.

The nest is a compact cup attached under a banana or similar broad leaved plant suspended by cobwebs and vegetable fibre. Two eggs are the usual clutch.

In Sarawak, the Kayan, Kenyah and Punan people consider it a bird of good omen and when they are out collecting camphor, the men would wait until they heard the “sit” call of one of these spiderhunters.

  • As we call His name, He sure will deliver the undelivered…
  • God is waiting for our call before He separates the husk from the grains…
  • There are millions out there who have not even head the name Jesus..

What are we going to do to reach them before the King returns?

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Jeremiah 33:3)

Have a blessed day!

Your’s in YESHUA,
a j mithra

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Lee’s Addition:

The Little Spiderhunter is in the Nectariniidae – Sunbirds Family of the Passeriformes Order.

See more of a j mithra’s articles
More Birds of the World

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