Re: Crested Bellbird immobilising caterpillars - RFI

To: <>
Subject: Re: Crested Bellbird immobilising caterpillars - RFI
From: "Stephen Ambrose" <>
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2008 16:12:38 +1000
HANZAB states:

"Caterpillars in nest often alive, but adults paralyze them by pinching
their bodies up and down in bill without killing them, though some die and
subsequently dry out".


Stephen Ambrose

Ryde, NSW


-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Evan Beaver
Sent: Wednesday, 4 June 2008 3:49 PM
Subject: Crested Bellbird immobilising caterpillars - RFI


Did you get any replies to this Frank? It sounds utterly bizarre.


Maybe they hypnotise them, like you can do with chooks?




On 6/2/08, Frank Antram <> wrote:

> Hi BirdingAus-ers




> Could somebody enlighten me as to how Crested Bellbirds

> caterpillars?  Pizzey & Knight state that Crested Bellbird 'places

> immobilised live caterpillars around rim [of nest]' ; MacDonald states

> before eggs hatch, caterpillars 'are paralysed and stored around nest as

> food for young' ; and Blakers, Davies & Reilly say 'keeps a larder of

> incapacitated but living caterpillars round its nest'.  An internet search

> hasn't helped further.  So, are bellbirds equipped with a poison that they

> secrete from some gland, or do they utilize a poisonous plant, or what?

> do the young know that food is ready and waiting when they hatch, or is

> just forethought on the part of the adults to have a supply of food ready

> start stuffing down the throats of the hungry youngsters?



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