9 August 2012

Forktailed Drongo eating a Magpie Mannikin

Nature can be cruel, these photos are not meant to shock you but depict a previously un-photographed event. It has been recorded on numerous occasions where Forktailed Drongo's have caught and eaten small birds that weigh about 8 to 10 grams, the Magpie Mannikin however weighs on average 16 grams. The Drongo's normal diet consists of insects, however last year I recorded the event where one bird was catching Bronze Mannikins and eating them.
In less than 10 minutes 85% of the Magpie Mannikin had been consumed by the Drongo before he flew off with the balance to a spot where he would not be disturbed. At one point another Magpie Mannikin landed in the tree above the Drongo and watched what was going on, I wonder if it was the partner of the Drongo's meal.

Forktailed Drongo sitting in the tree with his catch

Starting to eat, you can see a bit of flesh to the left of the Drongo's beak

Pecking at the neck

Pulling at a piece of flesh

Holding his catch - almost through the neck

Getting a better grip

Head is almost gone, you can see the Mannikin's beak

Tugging at his food

Where now?

Almost off

Time to start on the body