A perfectly camouflaged immature male Blue-eared Barbet feasts on Ficus subgelderi figs at Meriuk Farm Stay in Tutong Brunei.  (Meriuk Farm Stay was previously known as  Wasai Bedanu (Bedanu waterfall). Meriuk Farm Stay is managed by  a professional bird guide Jungle Dave.

Ficus subgelderi IMG_0631
Note the distinguishing features of  Ficus subgelderi. Normally 5 side veins on a medium sized leaf with reticulate (box like) tertiary  leaf venation and a hairy stipule.  In comparison  Ficus sundaica which is frequently confused with F. subgelderi would normally have up to 10 side veins, less hairs on the stipule and the tertiary venation on the leaf would run parallel to the main veins. Both species have a prominent pair of basal veins at the base of the leaf.
Ficus subgelderi IMG_0640.JPG
Unlike Ficus pellucidopunctata  and Ficus pisocarpa the ostiole (the hole at the base of the fig) is fully closed.
Brown Barbet IMG_1013.JPG
This female Bornean Brown Barbet is of the N. Borneo race Calorhampus fulgiinosus tertius   with the rufous  wash confined  mainly to the throat. This barbet is endemic to Borneo.
Blue-eared Barbet male IMG_0290.JPG
An adult male Blue-eared Barbet.  Only the female has a “blue ear”. Males have a black ear and immature males have a grey forehead. All barbets congregate  to feed in fig trees but some barbet species are more specialised than others. It has been estimated that figs make up only 50% of the diet of Blue-eared Barbets but 100% of the diet of Yellow-crowned Barbets. Multiple calls of different barbets coming from the same location is a sure indication of a fruiting canopy fig.
Red-eyed BuIbulMG_0864.JPG
A Red-eyed Bulbul looking for a soft ripe fig.
Bulbul pulps fig IMG_0744.JPG
The fig is squeezed in the bill and pulped so that the juice flows down the throat.
Bulbul rejects  fiber mass IMG_0747.JPG
Once the pulpy juice has been extracted the wad of fiber and seeds  is  deliberately rejected. Only birds which swallow figs whole such as barbets, imperial pigeons and hornbills are effective dispersers of figs. Most bulbuls  and fruit bats are “pulp thieves” of figs and do not act as dispersers.
Fig Tree IMG_1082.JPG
The fruiting Ficus subgelderi illustrated above is in the middle of the photo above. Directly above it is a Ficus annulata  with large leaves which was not fruiting during our visit.
The Hide IMG_1089.JPG
This is the hide constructed by our guide Jungle Dave  from which the photos  above were taken in December 2017.