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Brown Shrike Feeding Behaviour – Impaling Food Item

on 24th December 2023

Shrikes are known to impale prey on thorns or sharp broken branches. I have seen the Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus do this occasionally. On 21 December 2023 at the Malim Nawar Wetlands, Perak, Malaysia, I was able to observe the activity at close range, using the car as hide. The adult female I observed had a piece of an animal prey in the beak but it was too large to manage. It proceeded to impale the item on the sharp point of a broken branch in dead bush (see Plate 1).

Plate 1: Brown Shrike impaling prey on the sharp end of a branch

It took three attempts for the bird to succeed. It then was able to eat the prey piecemeal (see Plate 2).

Plate 2: Brown Shrike with piecemeal prey for consumption

Good documentation of similar behaviour by Steven Cheong can be found in the link.

Amar
(Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS)
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

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.

Amar-Singh HSS

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS, Cert Theology (Aust, Hons), MBBS (Mal), MRCP (UK), FRCP (Glasg), MSc Community Paediatrics (Ldn, dist), is a Consultant Paediatrician. He served the Malaysian civil service for more than 35 years, led regional Paediatric and Research departments, is an active child advocate and the recipient of a number of international awards. He has been a bird watcher for around 50 years, published two bird books, has a number of international bird publications, contributed to more than 20 international bird books/guides, and contributes to online bird image and audio databases. He is an active contributor to the Bird Ecology Study Group with a large number of detailed posts and write-ups on bird ecology. He is a life member of the Malaysian Nature Society, a member of the BCC-MNS Records Committee, a member of the Oriental Bird Club and supports eBird. He is interested in spending time getting to know bird behaviour and considers himself a bird-friend. Amar is based at Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.

Other posts by Amar-Singh HSS

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