Chestnut-breasted Malkoha – with lizard prey

posted in: birds, Feeding-vertebrates | 0

Image 1.

I was watching birds in a fruiting tree when this male Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris singularis) launched itself from a low tree perch and glided right in front of me (taking me by surprise) to reach some undergrowth 25 meters away.

Image 2.

It had spotted a lizard prey and acquired it immediately by holding the head and neck in the beak. I am familiar with a few of our jungle lizards and I believe the prey is the Five-banded Gliding Lizard (Draco quinquefasciatus), see close up (image 4).

Image 3.

The prey was not branch swiped or processed. Time was taken to adjust it to be head first before swallowing it whole. The nictitating membrane was deployed to protect the eye when swallowing (Image 2). The long tail, almost twice the size of the body (17 cm), was left protruding and the bird continued to forage (Post 3). I have seen similar behaviour in the past. I have also seen this species take a large frog and a snake.

Image 4.

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Trail along primary jungle

Date: 17th August 2020

Equipment: Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone.

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