I have watched Wekas in New Zealand feeding in the intertidal. They pick up
stones etc. (some quite heavy) in their bills and lay them aside, before
looking what was uncovered below them. And of course Turnstones and Common
Starlings do the same, albeit with slightly different techniques. Starlings
gape, while turnstones usually push things aside, or roll up mats of green
And yes, Purple Swamphens often eat 'out of their hands', almost like parrots.
On Behalf Of brian fleming
Sent: 16. mai 2013 13:09
Subject: Thesis topic #2308 - Peckers vs Scratchers
On land, Button-quails scrape their platelets with their feet, then peck over
the cleared ground.
I recall seeing a Buff-banded Rail at the zoo foraging in a kangaroo paddock -
carefully flipping over the droppings and pecking at earthworms and insects. I
don't recall that it used its feet at all.
But Purple Swamp-hens use their feet a lot - I saw one last weekend pulling up
grass, taking the bunch in a foot, and then eating the grass from its foot.
They can chop through the rhizomes of Cumbungi (alias
Bulrush) with their sharp beaks and then use a foot to yank the section of root
out of the mud - a real feat (?feet) of strength. The root is then held in the
foot and chewed with the beak to release starchy juices which are swallowed or
fed to young birds - the fibres are discarded.
I have seen a Spotted Crake wading in shallow water - it repeatedly turned back
to check if it had stirred up something edible.
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