Part 1 of the series can be found HERE.
“Do parenting Blue-winged Pittas (Pitta moluccensis) play fair to their newly fledged chicks?
“Medusa, the female Pitta parent was observed to serve in portions of earthworms she collected. Having fed Chick No: 3–Me at nest site, she flew with remaining portion to awaiting Chick No: 1-Doe; seen with beak opened wide (above).
“Here a humble shot, a bit blurry as everything happened so quickly. I had to swing my DGscope when parent with prey chose landing on tight edge opposite. The huge lump of coiled vermin was stuffed into hungry Doe’s buccal cavity (above).
“Medusa was observed to tenderly uncoil its spaghetti looking prey for Doe’s easier swallowing. The segmented vermin eventually left the grasp of the maternal one and got transferred and teased down the throat of juvenile (above).
“Under watchful supervision by parent, Doe was left to devour lunch of sushi earthworm (above).
“What about Chick No: 2-Ray still in hiding amongst ground cover of ferns? The harsh lesson Ray needed to learn fast was, ‘You want food, show up!’
“Chick feeding is a Herculean task for both Pitta parents. While images have been of identification quality in documentation so far, readers can look forth to better photographic images of Hercules and Medusa– the successful breeding pair, in Part 3 and thereafter in the Monitoring series of Blue-winged Pittas (2016).”
Avian Writer Daisy O’Neill
16th August 2016
Copyright article and all image copies – Courtesy of Daisy O’Neill Bird Conservation Fund