How does the Bassian Thrush collect multiple prey items?

To: Canberra birds <>
Subject: How does the Bassian Thrush collect multiple prey items?
From: Wallaces <>
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2017 11:20:08 +0000

I had the opportunity today to video a Bassian Thrush collecting multiple prey items. The technique used is to drop the prey already held, find and capture another one, and then pick up the items dropped. Collecting the items dropped can take several attempts. The pictures below, taken from a video, show how this is done.


1.       Capture new item (picture 1)

2.       Collect some of the items previously dropped by opening up its beak just before it hits the ground (as in the blurred unnumbered picture below picture 1)

3.       Keep picking up more previously dropped items until all are collected (the bird pictured took 4 attempts to collect all the prey on this occasion – picture 2 and 3 are the result of the first and second attempt)


The action is fast with the time between picture 1 and 3 being less than 2 seconds. This bird repeated this behaviour several times while I watched it. Most of the time it ate the collected prey but several times it fed another adult bird, so I assume it is a male feeding a female.  Perhaps it was practicing the technique for capturing of multiple prey in preparation for feeding young.  The bird was also able to call while it was carrying multiple prey items.




<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the list contact David McDonald, list manager, phone (02) 6231 8904 or email . If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU