Flycatcher eats grasshopper: Photographic evidence

posted in: Feeding strategy, Photography | 1

Irfan Choo’s studies of the Dark-sided Flycatcher (Muscicapa sibirica) catching and then swallowing a long-horned grasshopper (Family: Tettigoniidae) are dedicated to skeptics who are seldom convinced that an invertebrate caught by a bird is food. Yes, sometimes the food may be vomited out, like with some brightly coloured butterfly or moth because they may be poisonous or distasteful. However, in such cases the vomiting would be instantaneous and a photographer would be well aware of the event.

Can skeptics be traditional birdwatchers, uncomfortable with the recent popularity of bird photography? However, it should be noted that bird photographers are fast convincing the more progressive birdwatchers of the importance of images in birdwatching. Not convinced? Then check out this LINK.

Reflect back to the time when images did not play any significant role in birdwatching. The many reports of birds taking insects, spiders, snails, fruits, etc. were then simply reported and accepted without question. Were these “foods” actually eaten and not subsequently vomited out? Were they actually taken as food or, as a skeptic once suggested, a “toy” that birds sometimes simply pick up for amusement?

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