Peregrine Falcon feasting on a Javna Myna

on 19th November 2008

On 15th November 2008, Johnny Wee was at the Japanese Garden in Jurong when he encountered a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) with a Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) firmly gripped in its talons.

The falcon took a while to settle down on the perch, pressing its prey against the perch with its feet. Using its sharp bill, it started pulling off the myna’s wing and tail feathers. It then went for the neck before ripping open the body cavity, pulling out the entrails and swallowing them (above). It then ate chunks of flesh to finally eat the legs (below).

The feasting took about half an hour to complete. It was a gruesome sight indeed.

The falcon was at the same casuarinas tree (Casuarina equisetifolia) for the last week or so. It was also there last year.

August to May is the period when this falcon (subspecies japonensis) migrates south. In Singapore it is an uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant. The earliest arrival date is 7th August while the latest date is 25th May.

The subspecies ernesti is resident in Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, Java and the Philippine Islands to New Guinea.

Wang, L.K. & C. J. Hails, 2007. An annotated checklist of birds of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 15: 1-179.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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