Jungle myna feeding on maggots from a dead snake

posted in: Feeding-invertebrates | 0

“Was watching birds in the Beecham-Tasek area in the city. There are some small “village” roads, areas where the city has engulfed. Came across Jungle Mynas (Acridotheres fuscus torquatus) feeding on the road. There were three – two were a pair. I suspect I arrived at this location almost same time they did. I could not, at first, understand what they were picking up from the hard road. I thought it might be nesting material. Then I spotted the snake that had been run over.

“The snake had possibly been run over 2-3 days ago and maggots were breeding in the damaged parts (not a CSI, but maggots breed fast). Although the vehicle traffic here is low, some maggots must have been dislodged unto the road by passing trafffic.

“One was eating them, but the pair of two were collecting to feed their juveniles (above left). They went to feed juveniles and returned a number of times (nest some distance away and could not find it). They were so engrossed and delighted with their foraging that I was allowed to watch close up.

“They then ‘addressed’ the snake proper. They were very deferential and careful. Treating it like a live snake. Jumping back, poking intermittently and pulling one end. The pair worked together. Finally they decided to pull it to the edge of the road (above right). This was a smart move as bikes and occasional cars were passing by. They then tore off a chunk of flesh and flew off with it. Not sure if to eat the flesh or pick more maggots of it.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh City, Perak, Malaysia
28th March 2010

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