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


  1. Brilliant pictures. Yes nature can be very cruel at times. Well done Andrew!!

  2. Wow, what a sighting! Brilliant photographs - well done.