Black-capped Kingfisher caught a crab

on 15th November 2019

Alfred Ng was at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in November 2019 when he encountered a Blackcapped Kingfisher (Halcyon pileata) hovering above the intertidal zone before plunging down to pick up a large crab from the muddy water.

Alfred Ng refers to his image of the kingfisher losing its catch as shown below: “A reverse sequence of *FIM (Foot In Mouth), and (the kingfisher) lost its food on its way.”

The kingfisher managed to grab the large crab by one of its limbs. However, when flying off with its prey, the crab fell off and the kingfisher lost its meal – except a short segment of the limb. The weight of the crab and the struggle to escape most probably caused a joint in the limb that the kingfisher had between its mandibles to detach. After all, crab’s limbs can be easily detached at a special joint. However, it can regenerate a detached limb in subsequent moults.

Had the kingfisher caught a smaller crab, it would have has its meal LINK

Alfred Ng
7th November 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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