Drongo Cuckoo feeding on caterpillars

posted in: Feeding-invertebrates | 0

“On 26th November 2009, while conducting a survey, with Ng Pei Xin and Saker Subaraj, on Pulau Serangoon, we came across a Drongo Cuckoo (Surniculus lugubris). The cuckoo was perched fairly low in a patch of casuarinas and was quite approachable.

“It made a few forays to the ground and each time it successfully came up to a branch, with a caterpillar in its bill. After a few “whacks” on the branch, it would quickly consume its prey. Then it would look for its next victim.

“I managed a couple of decent photos and these showed that the prey were Tawny Coster (Acraea violae) larvae. This is a common butterfly of coastal grassland that colonise Singapore from the north a few years ago.

“The Drongo Cuckoo is both a rare resident, to the forests of the Central Nature Reserves, and an uncommon but widespread migrant. The bird at Pulau Serangoon was obviously a migrant and based on its lack of fear and hungry behaviour, it was a recent arrival.”

Subaraj Rajathurai
10th December 2009

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