Dotterel v Antlions

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Dotterel v Antlions
From: Steve <>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 19:39:21 +1000
G'day all

On April 2 I was watching Black-fronted Dotterels on the shore of Lake Pinaroo 
near Fort Grey Camp, Sturt National Park, NSW.

Most individuals were feeding along the water's edge but one was way up on the 
back of the beach near the beginning of the woodland.  This area was sandy and 
covered in Antlion larvae cones.

The lone Dotterel systematically searched the sand for cones and dipped into 
each one and clearly at times gobbled up a morsel from within.  I flipped the 
camera to video mode and shot some of the action.  Then I photographed a cone 
with Dotterel footprints leading up to and away from the cone.

I'd not heard of this before and research since has not turned up Antlion 
larvae predation by birds.  Nor are Antlion larvae listed in HANZAB as a prey 
of the Black-fronted Dotterel.

The movie clip is nearly 2 mins long and 52 mb.  It is at:

The photo of the footprints is at:

I'd be interested if anyone else has seen such behaviour.


Steve Clark
Hamilton, Vic

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