Mad About Mangoes

Last Updated on 15 June 2024

Mango trees (Mangifera indica) are native to Singapore and can be commonly seen growing all around the island.

The mango trees typically have two flowering seasons per year. The flowers are fragrant and come in a variety of colours, from greenish yellow to pale cream or even red. The yellow fruit contains a single large and hard seed and the succulent flesh is enjoyed by both humans and animals.

Along Alexandra Road, a long row of mango trees attract many birds to come and feast on the juicy fruit every fruiting season.

We can tell that the trees are fruiting when we hear the shrill screeching of the Coconut Lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus), who are usually one of the first few to turn up at the mango party.

The Coconut Lorikeets are very colourful and eye-catching birds that are hard to miss. Adorned with a bright red bill, dark blue head, yellow-green nape, barred red and blue breast, green and yellow underparts, bright red underwings and green body and tail, they look like someone had splashed bright-coloured paint all over their bodies.

Also a regular attendee of the mango party are the Blue-crowned Hanging Parrots (Loriculus galgulus). These parrots are native to Singapore and are common birds that can be found all around the neighbourhood. Although their calls can frequently be heard everywhere, they are not often seen due to their small size. It is only during one of these mango parties that we get to properly meet them and admire their interesting fashion sense.

The male Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot is overall decked in green, except that he looks like a painter had applied a dab of blue on his crown, a dab of orange on his back, and a dab of red on his breast. As if that wasn’t enough, the painter grabbed him by his body and dipped his tail into a can of bright red paint.

Attendance at these mango parties is usually a family affair, with wife and kids in tow. The female looks similar to the male but lacks the red breast patch, while the juvenile is overall less colourful and has a paler bill.

Other common resident birds that we have seen indulging in these sweet fruits include the Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus)

…the Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier)

…the Tanimbar Corella (Cacatua goffiniana)

…the Yellow-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea)

…the Red-breasted Parakeet (Psittacula alexandri)

…the Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)

…the Lineated Barbet (Megalaima lineata)

…the Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)

…the Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis)

…and even the Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis).

After a whole morning of non-stop binging, it is nice to see the birds fall into a food coma and ready to take a nap under the shade of the mango tree.