Long-tailed Shrike catches a worm

on 14th March 2009

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.

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.

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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