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Brown Shrike impaling centipede before eating it

on 6th September 2011

“Sharing with you photos taken at the Chinese Garden [in 2010] and some facts on the Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus), a bird in the shrike family that is found mainly in China, Japan and Korea and migrates to India and SE Asia during winter. It has a distinctive black ‘bandit-mask’ through the eye.

“We can expect to see this bird this month when migratory birds start to arrive in Singapore. A classic behaviour that is typical of this bird is captured here. It would usually perch on a thorny tree, in this case the pomegranate (Punica granatum), and fly down to the ground to catch its prey. It would then impale its prey on the thorn of the tree, wait for the prey to stop moving (above left) before attempting to retrieve (above right) and swallow it (left). So much easier and smarter compared to the kingfisher which will spend a lot more effort to whack the hell out of its prey before swallowing it. Well, that’s life for the birds.”

KM Sim
Singapore
3rd September 2011

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

3 responses

  1. The first time I saw a Brown Shrike was in Feb 2009 in my condo. Since then it has been seen regularly during the winter migratory seasons. The last time I saw it was on 3 May 2011 which seemed to be a bit late for its departure. How time flies and now I am expecting to see it again soon.

    1. Dear Chong Hong,

      The Brown Shrike (especially cristatus from the northmost) often leave my garden at Ipoh around late May, so it wasnt surprising, I had seen the first arrival this season last weekend at my garden.

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