Chinese Pond Heron and the earthworm

on 31st March 2009

Chinese Pond Heron (Ardeola bacchus) is reported to eat small frogs, aquatic invertebrates, fish, molluscs, terrestrial insects and worms.

Daniel Chia photographed the heron catching an earthworm from the field along Port Road, just outside Carpark C of Singapore’s Labrador Nature Reserve.

Picking up the worm from the damp ground was not a problem. Trying to pass it down its long bill for swallowing was. Worms are slippery and the heron had quite a time trying to swallow it. As soon as the worm reached the end of the bill, it wriggled out as apparently there may be less of a grip there than at the bill tip. Persistency prevailed and after many attempts, the heron finally managed to swallow the worm.

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

4 Responses

  1. Hi, I’ve checked the full sized image again, and confirm that it was an earthworm.

    That particular patch of open grass was waterlogged from the rains that happened over that period, and would have caused the earthworms to surface for air, thus, becoming easy targets for hungry birds…

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