Oriental Magpie-robin thrashing and stabbing a lizard

MagpieRobin-lizard [MelindaChan]

On the morning of 10th March 2016, Melinda Chan was at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay looking for subjects to photograph. There she came across an Oriental Magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis) that had just caught a lizard

The lizard appeared listless. The magpie-robin had its mandibles firmly clamped on the lizard’s head and thrashing it on the ground. A number of times it lost its grip but immediately grabbed it from the ground and continued thrashing it.

What appeared unusual was the viciousness with which the bird behaved in the thrashing followed by stabbing it three times while the lizard was on the ground.

The magpie-robin did a good job in ensuring its victim was totally dead before swallowing it.

An earlier post also shows the aggressiveness of the Oriental Magpie-robin in dealing with a lizard – but there was no stabbing of the prey.

Melinda Chan
10th March 2016

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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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