I saw another food item for the Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica) yesterday (21st February 2022) and I am attempting to update my personal observations on the diet of these birds while on migration to my region.
Yesterday I saw an Asian Brown Flycatcher take a dragonfly (see image). This was unexpected for me as they usually take smaller insects. The dragonfly was branch swiped a few times before being swallowed whole. The dragonfly had bright orange and dark brown wing markings making an identification possible; this is the Rhyothemis phyllis, known as the Yellow-Striped Flutterer or Yellow-Barred Flutterer. It is described as a small to medium-sized dragonfly.
In the past I have observed the Asian Brown Flycatchers feed on:
- Insect Prey: Small insects are often taken using an aerial sally. I have seen it take small larvae. The dragonfly is the largest prey I have personally seen it feed on.
- Small fruit: Another common item in the diet. Fruit is also taken using an aerial sally. The birds will usually snatch a fruit, at times fluttering very briefly, and then return usually to a different perch to feed quickly.
Fruit I have seen taken include:
Blue Mahang (Macaranga heynei) – common food item.
Common Mahang (Macaranga bancana) – common food item.
Australian Mulberry (Pipturus argenteus).
Small orange berries from an unknown bush.
The Asian Brown Flycatcher is often very territorial in guarding its feeding locations and fruiting trees.
- On one occasion I have seen a bird expel a pellet but was not able to retrieve it for analysis. It could be made up of the exoskeletons of insects or indigestible plant matter.
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS – Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia