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).
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).
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.
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.