White-tailed Robin: 1. Immature male with prey

on 11th June 2018

“The White-tailed Robin (Myiomela leucura leucura) is one of my favourites and I almost always get to watch it during a visit to the highlands; hence I thought I was fairly well aware of it behaviour. This observation made me rethink their social behaviour. I had observed a number of White-tailed Robins when I came across this self-feeding immature male. Note the shinning blue on the anterior forehead, the darker blue in tail and blue developing on the wings and breast. These images/observation helps suggest what plumage changes occur first in juvenile male transition to adults. It is interesting that the shining blue of the forehead is an early feature.

“I first saw the immature male feeding on an earthworm. It swiped and hit the earthworm and then broke it up into pieces before consuming it (images available but not posted). It then found another earthworm and processed it in the same was. But instead of feeding on it, the bird carried it away whole as though to feed some chicks (above).

“As it made its way it spotted a large cricket and dropped the dead earthworm (above) to deal with the cricket (below).

“It then carried away the cricket (below) into the bushes, again as though to feed some young.

“It soon retuned to get the earthworm and also took that away. There was an adult male nearby who was also looking for prey. Both males were making contact calls intermittently and were not in conflict.

“My concerns/views: It is unlikely that an immature bird is nurturing a brood.
Could this be a young from an earlier breeding that is now functioning as nest helper?”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
18th May 2018

Location: 1,600-1,700m ASL, Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia
Habitat: Trail through primary jungle

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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