Long-tailed Shrike mobbing Barn Owl

on 16th May 2019
Image of Long-tailed Shrike courtesy of Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS.

A Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach) was documented mobbing a Barn Owl (Tyto alba) at Punggol. The tiny shrike flew straight towards the larger owl that was roosting on a branch of a tree in an effort to chase it away from but without success. The owl, being a nocturnal bird, was roosting during the day. However its presence posed a threat to smaller birds and needed to be chased away.

Such mobbing is a regular occurrence. Smaller birds that mob larger birds like owls and raptors include drongo mobbing the Barred Eagle-owl (Bubo sumatranus), take great risks as the latter bird may react by attacking and killing the much smaller attackers. However, in most cases the subject of the attacker simply move away without any retaliation.

Video grab of Barn Owl.

Crows regularly mob all types of raptors, including owls. Once a crow indulges in mobbing, other crows usually join in and with the increasing in number of crows, the victim will invariably leave the site.

MeiLin Khoo
12th May 2019

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behaviour 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.

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