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Greater Coucal’s snail breakfast

on 11th February 2018

“A pair of Greater Coucals (Centropus sinensis) inhabit some empty scrubland behind my house in Koh Samui and are frequently to be seen gliding across the land, foraging in the grass, or occasionally perching on trees and even on the roof of the house.

CoucalGr-snail [HowardBanwell]

“On a recent early morning I heard one of them close by and went out to take photos of it sunning itself on a tree branch (above).

CoucalGr-snail [HowardBanwell]

“At which point it jumped down into the grass, and plucked out a snail (above) with which it then flew a few meters onto a boundary wall.

CoucalGr-snail [HowardBanwell]

“It was briefly unsuccessful at accessing its breakfast inside (above, below)

CoucalGr-snail [HowardBanwell]

“…until it decided to use its talons to hold down the snail (possibly an Achatina fulica) while breaking off part of the shell with its beak (below).

CoucalGr-snail [HowardBanwell]

“It could then enjoy its sticky meal with apparent relish (below).

CoucalGr-snail [HowardBanwell]CoucalGr-snail [HowardBanwell]

Howard Banwell
Koh Samui, Thailand
3rd February 2018

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

2 Responses

  1. It appears that the Coucal is eating an African Giant Snail (Achatina fulica). If so, be thankful that some bird is capable of combating this invasive pest, which is beyond the capabilities of most local wildlife to tackle.

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