Site Meter

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ruddy Kingfisher: Eating a snail, then casting a pellet

Ruddy Kingfisher: Eating a snail, then casting a pellet

The Ruddy Kingfisher (Halcyon coromanda), an uncommon passage migrant and winter visitor to Singapore, made a brief appearance of a few days towards the end of October 2006. Once news got around, birders and photographers congregated at Jurong, near the Chinese Garden, to get a glimpse and/or to take a picture of this rare bird.
Allan Teo was among the fortunate few who witnessed the bird manipulating a snail. After it got a firm hold of the mollusc in its bill, it expertly removed the shell by smashing it against the perch, first against one side, then against the other (above). It then used the horizontal force of its head swing that resulted in the smashed shell pieces flying apart, leaving only the meat. Happy with the shell-less snail, the kingfisher swallowed its prize catch (above: note damp patches on either side of the bird's perch where the snail was whacked).

After having their fill with the kingfisher, most of the people moved off to look for other rare birds. The few who patiently remained witnessed an usual event, the casting of a pellet. This came more than an hour after the kingfisher consumed the snail. The bird first made some sort of retching action, giving the appearance as if it was about to vomit. Then the bill widened substantially to show the large gape and equally large opening into the throat (above). At the same time the body bent forward - and suddenly out popped the pellet (above). Unfortunately the actual moment when the pellet appeared was not caught on film.

The pellet ended in the undergrowth below the tree and it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack to try retrieve it.

Input from Allan Teo, images by Allan (top three) and Chan Yoke Meng (bottom three).

Labels:

1 Comments:

At 11:30 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Introducing the
Ivory-billed Woodpecker Foundation


Because
“Second Chances are extremely rare.”

“Deep in the bayou,
through the
thickness
of the mist,
The long, lost
ivory-bill,
thought to be extinct,
has been
re-discovered;
And a Foundation
has been born
to care for it.”
© nh
.
Our Mission
For the locating, recovery, protection, management, preservation and conservation of Ivory-billed woodpeckers; through scientific research and documentation; and the education of the general public.

This is a non-profit organization,
and all contributions are Tax Exempt


The Ivory-billed Woodpecker
The most endangered bird species in this country

The magnificent ivory-billed woodpecker, long believed to be extinct, was rediscovered in the Big Woods of eastern Arkansas on February 27, 2004 by Bobby Harrison, from Ithaca, New York, more than 60 years after the last confirmed sighting of the species in the United States. Their own quest culminated in this miraculous find after spending more than 30 years of researching and following leads.
The rediscovery has produced waves of excitement in the world of conservation and beyond. It has been hailed by ornithologists, birders, conservation organizations and the media as a Victory for Nature; and highlights the need to preserve the world’s critical habitats. Rediscovering the ivory-billed woodpecker, long thought to be extinct, provides a rare SECOND CHANCE to save a species


You are cordially invited to attend the
Inaugural Celebration Gala
on Saturday, February 24, 2007
in Huntsville, AL at 6:00 PM.

For additional
Gala and contribution information
please contact:

Pam White@256-883-1199
Cassandra Decoux@256-830-0738 (pm only)
Norma Harrison @ 256-776-2003 or 256-651-8466
www.ivory-billedwoodpeckerfoundation.org
or email: ivorybillwp@aol.com.

 

Post a comment

<< Home

Site Meter Amfibi Directory Singapore Blogger Organisation