Silver-eared Mesia – animal prey

on 27th March 2012

“These images of the Silver-eared Mesia (Leiothrix argentauris tahanensis) were taken against the sun and are not great quality but show interesting behaviour.

“The diet of this bird is not well recorded with no animal prey identified (Wells 2007). The images above (left) shows a grub/larvae being taken. Another animal prey, from the images available it looked like a spider (below left).

“A composite of male-female differentiation from the lower tail-coverts – male above with bright red and female below with tawny/orange is shown in the image above (right).

“This image at the top (right) shows the foraging behaviour for the spider. Note the broken leave in the left claw. It was held there to tease out the insect. Note the lovely display of the tail.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
1,500m ASL, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
Habitat: A public road along primary montane forest
13th January 2012

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

2 Responses

  1. The Silver-Eared Mesia is popular in aviculture and is known for its omnivorous diet. It will readily eat small insects, mealworms and fruit. An unexplained characteristic of this bird, and the closely related Pekin Robin (Leothrix lutea) is the habit of ingesting seeds. Almost all the seeds they eat are passed undigested through the intestinal tract.

    In aviaries, both species are notorious for stealing eggs from other birds.

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