The Tiger Shrike and the lizard

on 24th September 2017

Neelu Pilania came across a Tiger Shrike (Lanius tigrinus) at Satay by the Bay, having seen this shrike mostly in Bidadari and MacRitchie. The shrike had just caught her prey, a lizard, that was still alive and thrashing about. The shrike had her talons tightly wrapped around the lizard’s neck (below).

ShrikeT-lizaard [Neelu Pilania‎] 1

The clicking of the camera alerted the shrike to Neelu’s presence, and the next moment off flew the shrike, carrying her prey to a short distance away among dense trees. There, amidst the tangle of branches and away from the photographer’s prying eyes, the shrike did what shrikes do to kill their prey… impaling it on a big thorn (below).

ShrikeT-lizaard [Neelu Pilania‎] 2

Shrikes can’t hold on to prey to eat, so they need to impale it on a spike to keep it in place while they tear the flesh. After she was half-way through, she flew off, leaving the lizard hanging limply, safe in her larder.

Neelu Pilania
22 September 2017

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behavior through photography and videography to a wider audience.

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.

Other posts by YC Wee

3 Responses

  1. This migratory season, the presence of Tiger Shrikes appear to make its debut more apparently compared to Brown Shrikes up northern P.Msia.

    Good opportunity sighting, Neelu.

    Daisy O’Neill

  2. Anyone able to ID the lizard? It looks almost like the introduced Brown Anole (Norops [Anolis] sagrei), but I can’t be sure.

  3. I have never seen a live Brown Anole, but I can state with certainty what that lizard is not! It is not our native Calotes cristatellus or the introduced Calotes versicolor. It is not a Tree Skink, neither is it an immature Monitor Lizard, nor is it a species of Gecko. What options does that leave us with?
    Gardens by the Bay is one of the places in Singapore where Anole lizards have become established.

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