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Green-backed Tit – feeding technique

on 28th December 2017

TitGrBk [AmarSingh]

“We saw many tits at a number of locations and the commonest was the Green-backed Tit (Parus monticolus monticolus). It is very acrobatic when foraging and has a wide diet – invertebrates, insects, fruit, seeds/nuts, etc. (above). We also saw it as part of mix-species foraging.

TitGrBk [AmarSingh]

“On a number of occasions I spotted a feeding technique used to deal with hard nuts. The bird would hold the nut, on a fairly horizontal branch, tightly in the grip of both feet (above). It would then ‘hack-away’ at the nut and feed on small pieces (below).

TitGrBk [AmarSingh]

“This technique allows it to deal with larger nuts.

TitGrBk [AmarSingh]

“Above is of a different episode. I suspect this technique is not uncommon (also among other tits) but not adequately reported. I am able to spot similar activity in a few images posted online. Appreciate any link to literature on the behaviour, if any.

“I tried a short handheld long lens shaky video (below).

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
8th November 2017

Location: Thoolakharka (also known as Australian Base Camp), Gandaki Zone, Western Region, Nepal, at 2050m ASL
Habitat: Secondary growth surrounded by primary forest

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.

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