Crested Bellbird immobilising caterpillars - RFI

To: Wendy <>, "Evan Beaver" <>
Subject: Crested Bellbird immobilising caterpillars - RFI
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2008 08:33:04 +1000
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!

Frank Antram
-----Original message-----
From: "Wendy" 
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.
>     Don"
> Wendy Moore

<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 birding-aus 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 archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU