In May 2008 Adrian Lim a.k.a. wmw998 photographed a Blue-winged Minla (Minla cyanouroptera) catching and eating a moth in the highland of Peninsular Malaysia. He wrote that these minlas “behave very much like Mountain Fulvettas in their eating habit, but they move faster and most of the time, are at a higher level. They are also seen more often in the open than the Fulvettas. These shots were taken early in the morning.”
The bird held the moth in its foot (top) and used its bill to bash as well as rub it against the branch to stun and get rid of most of the scales, if not the wings themselves, before swallowing it (above, below).
This shy forest babbler is little known. Wells (2007), who calls it Blue-winged Minla, gives its food as a variety of berries, stating that no animal food has been identified.
Collars & Robson (2007) place it as a Siva. They believe that it is markedly different vocally from Minla and there is no evidence for a close relationship – thus Blue-winged Siva (Minla cyanouroptera). The food is recorded as “Insects, berries and seeds.”
Adrian has obviously uncovered a new food record for this babbler – a moth.
1. Collar, N. J. & Robson, C. (2007). Family Timaliidae (Babblers). Pp. 70-291 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. eds. Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 12. Picathartes to Tits and Chikadees. Barcelona: Lynx Editions.
2. Wells, D.R. (2007). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London.
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