Migratory Birds: Foraging Behavior of a Tiger Shrike

“The migratory season is now heading towards a full swing with noisy shrike species announcing their arrivals. They have been seen descending and foraging in earnest at edge of Peninsular Malaysian mixed growth forests, residential estates, gardens and parks.

“This year- 2012 in particular, I am paying more attention to two species of shrikes that roam within 10 km where I live on mainland Penang.

“Let see what’s new and interesting enough to write about them.

“Here, a deceiving coy looking sub-adult Tiger Shrike (Lanius tigrinus) was observed to be waiting out the rain under a bamboo grove on 27th September (above).

“This is a lovely creature to observe and to photograph for it would silently perch for long periods, prospecting intently for any opportunistic prey and dive for the kill.

“The opportunity came and having got its prey, the predated beetle in the restless jaws of death was carried off in haste from perch to perch, at the edge of a secondary forest, to be consumed on the first quiet opportunity.

“The female sub-adult Tiger Shrike made a point to remain in partial view, away from prying eyes and took to stringent surveillance as she devoured her breakfast (above and below).

“I was not alone. A closer look at the base of the shrike’s throat was another witness or two, nervously looking or wondering if their turn be next after having got a free flying ride from a migratory in tiger looking stripes.”

Avian Writer Daisy O’Neill
Penang, Malaysia
1st October 2012
Copyright article and copy images: Courtesy of Daisy O’Neill Bird Conservation Fund

2 Responses

  1. Daisy O'Neill


    The ant probably crawled onto the Shrike as she dived for the beetle. Some species of ants are user friendly to birds. They produce acids to remove ectoparsites concealed in birds’ feathers. A read up on Anting, will have you wonder how ingenious birds are to keep their feathers in healthy condition. If this ant is not careful, will be had as light snack.

    Happy Birding,

    Avian Writer

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