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.
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