Lim Poh Bee documented a Long-Tailed Shrike’s (Lanius schach) struggle with a worm that kept on wriggling. Within about two to three seconds, the bird succeeded in swallowing the worm. This shrike is one of a pair in the location where Poh Bee regularly sees it.
According to Wells (2007), the Long-tailed Shrike hunts from a low level, diving to just above the surface of the ground to take prey. Prey items reported include insects, a frog that was captured and impaled alive on a broken-topped stem and a lizard. Yosef (2008) states that the bird is an opportunistic feeder, taking a variety of insects and various vertebrates like small mammals, lizards, frogs, crabs and small birds.
There appears to be no report of the shrike taking an earthworm. Poh Bee’s observation may well be a new food record.
1. Wells, D.R., 2007. The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London. 800 pp.
2. Yosef, R., 2008. Family Laniidae (Shrikes). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & D. A. Christie (eds.), Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 13. Penduline-tits to Shrikes. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp. 732-796.