Tiger Shrike catches a praying mantis

posted in: Feeding-invertebrates | 2

Walad Jamaludin’s image of a juvenile Tiger Shrike (Lanius tigrinus) was taken on 25th October 2009 at Jurong in Singapore (left).

The shrike is clutching a praying mantis around its thorax just below the first pair of legs that are armed with spines for the grasping of prey. The triangular shaped head of the mantis has been ripped, probably the first thing the shrike did when it caught the mantis.

In earlier posts, the shrike usually lodges the prey between its feet and the perch before dismantling the prey. Not so here as it has a firm grasp on the prey and is supported on the perch by the right leg and the ‘heel’ of the left leg.

What the shrike actually did to the mantis after ripping the head was not documented. Probably it dismantled the various parts for swallowing.

This post is a cooperative effort between NaturePixels.org and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

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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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