Thick-billed Flowerpecker

Thick-billed Flowerpecker   Dicaeum agile


  • Dicaeum: Greek word dikaion supposedly an Indian bird
  • Agile : Latin word agilis –nimble, active

Vernacular Names:  Pun: Full chuki, M.P.: Che, Guj: Phul sunghani, Jadichanch fulsunghani, Mar: Jad Chochicha Phultocha, Ta: For flowerpeckers -Poon-chittu, Poon-kothi, Te: Chittu-jitta, Poopudupu jitta, Mal: Ittakkannikuruvi

Distribution in India:  Widespread resident except in parts of East, North East and North West of India.

Description: Size of 9-10 cm. It is a relatively dull Flowerpecker with bill of variable thickness; has distinctive habit of jerking tail from side to side. Nominate race is grey-brown with variably intense olive or green tinge above, more olive tinge on rump; tail and remiges brown, tail edged olive-green; white submous­tachial streak, thin brown malar stripe; throat buffy white with faint brown streaking at sides, underparts buffy with obscure brown streaking, browner on flanks; concealed whitish pectoral tufts present; undertail with large white tips on outer feathers, narrow white tips on adjacent pair; iris light brick red, sometimes dull orange or brown; bill bluish-black; legs slaty brown. Both the sexes are similar. The juvenile is much less streaked than adult, and has yellowish wash on underparts, pale lower mandible. The races found in India are , nominate race (North and South India), race pallescens ( South Assam and Meghalaya) is much greyer above, more heavily streaked below, with bill less deep than that of nominate.

Habitat:It is found in range of forest types, at forest edge, in secondary growth, plantations, coconut groves, orchards and gardens; particularly around flowering and fruiting trees and shrubs, and mistletoes. Found in Lowlands to 3000 m.

Food Habits:It eats fruits and nectar, particularly of mistletoes and figs, spiders and insects. It forages mainly in canopy and middle stratum; sometimes lower down in shrubs. It forages singly and in pairs; outside breeding season sometimes in small groups and in mixed-species flocks.

Breeding Habits: They breed in Dec-Aug in India. The male in display shows distinct white mesial stripe down crown and nape, and white flecking on center of crown to attract the female. The nest is a pear-shaped felted pouch with side, looking like a leaf, constructed of soft felted fibers, flower buds, cobweb and vegetable down, inconspicuously suspended above ground from twig of tree or bush. It lays a clutch of 2-4 eggs.