Mark G. photographed this Pied Fantail (Rhipidura javanica) catching a dragonfly in mid-August 2009. The bird was hopping around a clump of bamboos when suddenly it flew down 2 to 3 metres in front of Mark and caught the dragonfly at the thorax just behind the head. It then swiped the dragonfly about to dislocate the wings and head before swallowing what was left.
The Pied Fantail is a hyperactive bird, dashing about in cover to catch small to medium insects out of the air or from plants. It also joins mixed flocks of insectivorous birds and follows domestic stock or even monkeys to catch insects flushed by their passage
According to R Subaraj, “The Pied Fantail has caught a male Tholymis tillarga or Twister. This dragonfly is most active in the evening. The males are distinct with the amber-brown and bluish-white patches on the hindwing. The Twister is a fairly common and widespread odonate around Singapore.”
Although the literature reports the food as insects, there is no specific mention of which insects the fantail takes.
Image by Mark G.
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