Black-shouldered Kite eats a Javan Myna

Field ornithologist Wang Luan Keng came across a the Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) tearing a dead Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) apart on a high perch recently, as shown in the video clip above.

On the ground below were remnants of earlier meals – feathers and parched bones of a Javan Myna (above) as well as a few pellets (below).

The pellets were collected and the bone fragments extracted (below: numbers correspond to those of pellets; scale in mm).

The favourite food of the Black-shouldered Kite in Singapore is mice LINK. However, when the vegetation cover is cleared as in this case, mice would be scarce. The kites then turn to birds, the most abundant species being Javan Myna. These mynas would then be the kite’s common food.

However, the pellets indicate mice had been eaten, rather than mynas – see mouse bone fragments HERE. However, it would be interesting to locate some pellets containing myna bones.

Wang Luan Keng (video, specimens) & YC Wee (images and bone fragments)
March 2015

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