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Food for a kingfisher and a bee-eater

on 13th December 2008

“While surveying birds at Tuas recently, Sham and I had a few good observations. In nice sunny weather, birds were quite active. With the help of my lumix, I managed to snap some nice shots. This included two common, pretty birds feeding.

“One was the White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis), a common resident of open country, feeding on a Garden Supple Skink (Lygosoma bowringii). The skink is a common, short-legged, worm-like reptile of gardens and parks. The kingfisher caught the skink and flew onto a chain, where it then proceeded to manoeuvre and swallowed the unfortunate lizard, while it was still alive. This was done within 20-30 seconds.

“The other was a Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus), a common migratory bird throughout Singapore, with a Decorative Tiger (Ictinogomphus decoratus) dragonfly. This dragonfly is a common, impressive species found around large and small bodies of water around our country. Despite the fairly large prey item, the bee-eater bashed the dragonfly and tried to swallow it. It then decided that a few more “whacks” were required. That was followed by the swallowing act that took only a few seconds.

“Always nice to be able to capture photos of bird behaviour, despite the limitations of my equipment.”

Subaraj Rajathurai
12th December 2008

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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