White-throated Kingfisher swallowing a crab

Raymond Cheng’s image of a White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) swallowing a crab is interesting in that the prey’s exoskeleton will be compacted in the crop to be eventually discarded as an unusually large pellet. It would make an interesting study should someone is patient enough to wait until the pellet is cast, collects it and examine the contents.

K'fisherWT-crab [RaymondCheng]

Crabs, especially small ones, are regularly eaten by birds, including kingfishers LINK.

Bigger crabs are usually taken by kingfishers like Collared Kingfisher” (Todiramphus chloris) and Ruddy Kingfisher (Halcyon coromanda). These crabs are bashed against the perch and tossed in the air to reposition it before swallowing, shell and all.

After the meal the kingfisher will cast a white pellet before eating again.

Raymond Cheng
2nd March 2017

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