Oriental Magpie-robin trashing a Lizard

on 19th October 2013

“Was walking besides the forest edge in the Singapore Botanic Gardens when I heard some commotion in the undergrowth. There was this Oriental Magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis) chasing something on the ground. Having caught it, I realised that it was a lizard – looks like the strategy of losing the wriggling tail did not help the lizard at all (above).

“Having the lizard securely between it’s bill, the Oriental Magpie-robin began it’s very vigorous trashing of the lizard, the bird whipping its head from side to side, with the prey held firmly between it’s bill (above, below). And unlike other birds that would smash the prey onto a branch or hard object, this bird did not do so, as observed.

“At last satisfied that the lizard was dead, the bird stopped its side to side whipping motion thus showing me his prey (below).

“The mynas were than attracted by the commotion that the Oriental Magpie-robin had created. They rushed towards the scene, having realised that the magpie-robin must have something that they could steal from. This caused the magpie-robin to flee from the site with the prey.”

KC Tsang
Singapore Botanic Gardens
5th September 2013

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.

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