Secretarybird catches an insect

on 15th December 2010

Willis’ earlier post was on the courtship behaviour of the Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius), captured in the African plains of Kenya in October 2010. Here, he shares with us his images of the same species catching a flying insect.

The bulk of the Secretarybird’s diet consists of arthropods, particularly insects like grasshoppers or locusts. When the opportunity arises, it also catches animals like snakes, frogs, lizards, rodents and small mammals that include hares, mongooses and meerkats.

The images above show it going after an insect, most probably a grasshopper it may have flushed as it trampled through the grass. It would be a simple matter if the bird can catch the insect with its gaping mouth but obviously this is not the case (above left). The use of its powerful foot to deliver a blow to the fleeing insect is obviously another method of dispatching preys (above right).

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

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

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.

Other posts by YC Wee

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