Hi Wendy, Evan et al
I think I had 3 responses - I thought they had all been sent to the list but
perhaps not - anyway, everyone has basically said the same thing, ie that the
birds bite the caterpillars to immobilise them, but very little really seems to
be known about it. Seems a bizarre technique to me, and unclear whether the
young help themselves to the food or not. One person suggested it could just
be for decoration of the nest, or for repelling some insect/predator ???
Perhaps the strangest thing is that while most of the reference books mention
this practice, they say practically nothing about it!
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2008 03:19:21 +1000
To: "Evan Beaver"
Subject: Crested Bellbird immobilising caterpillars - RFI
> Hi Frank,
> I too, am very interested in responses to your question, as I am interested
> in birds and Lepidoptera. Apart from Steven Ambrose reply, did you receive
> any other help?
> I forwarded your question to a few entomologist/lepidopteran contacts to see
> if they could help, but have received no definite information from them.
> Some thoughts from one .....
> "I've never heard that one before.
> Maybe the birds steal them from wasps, or nest above the snow line.
> Maybe there is some spinal nerve they could sever with a well aimed peck.
> Beats me.
> Wendy Moore