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Chestnut-headed Bee-eater – conflict (social behaviour)

on 26th February 2014

“I was drawn to a pair of Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti) who were calling loudly and seem agitated (above). They then progressed to have an altercation (conflict) with each other. I observed 3 consecutive episodes. What was odd was that each time they would amicably return to the same perch. They appeared to be family or mates but the conflict in mid air (below) was hard to explain.

“There were a few other Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters around but they did not pose any interference. It was either a domestic squabble, or perhaps, as I have seen before a young adult still demanding a feed from a parent resulting in a conflict.

They ended when one of them found a juicy butterfly (not able to ID butterfly) and took it to a perch to branch-swipe repeatedly, dislodge the wings and then consume (above, below).

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
5th January 2014

Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Entrance to forest reserve

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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