Chinese Pond Heron washing food before eating

on 19th December 2008

“I spent Deevapali with some Malaysian friends at Sungei Balang and Parit Jawa in Malaysia. In Sungei Balang, we came across Chinese Pond Herons (Ardeola bacchus) on many occasions but they flew off each time the car engine was switched off. But this one was looking for food and was oblivious of our presence. What is interesting is that it gave us an insight into its feeding habit. It washed its food (or wet its food) before eating it.”

The above images show the heron locating the prey while the images below show the bird bringing it to the water edge and dipping it in the water.

An earlier post shows an injured Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) catching a catfish in the water and taking it to land to bash it. It then returned to the water to wash the fish before eating it.

Images by Foo Sai Khoon.

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

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.

Other posts by YC Wee

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