snails as avian food

Subject: snails as avian food
From: (John Leonard)
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997 08:20:58 +1100 (EST)
In se USA there's a Snail Kite which eats water snails exclusively.

The snail specialists in the bird kingdom are the Pittas, and I assume that
the 3 Australian species follow the diets of their relatives too.

Australia may be a bit low on land-snails in the drier parts, and therefore
few Australian birds would have become adapted to feed on snails, as snails
require some moisture and abundant calcium in the soil (to build their
shells). I assume that this wouldn't be available in the arid parts. Would
anyone care to comment on this?


Dr John Leonard
PO Box 243, Woden,

'The pavement-coloured dog
Sniffs the pavement-kerb.'
                    Robert Graves

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