Oriental Magpie-robin trashing a Lizard

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“Was walking besides the forest edge in the Singapore Botanic Gardens when I heard some commotion in the undergrowth. There was this Oriental Magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis) chasing something on the ground. Having caught it, I realised that it was a lizard – looks like the strategy of losing the wriggling tail did not help the lizard at all (above).

“Having the lizard securely between it’s bill, the Oriental Magpie-robin began it’s very vigorous trashing of the lizard, the bird whipping its head from side to side, with the prey held firmly between it’s bill (above, below). And unlike other birds that would smash the prey onto a branch or hard object, this bird did not do so, as observed.

“At last satisfied that the lizard was dead, the bird stopped its side to side whipping motion thus showing me his prey (below).

“The mynas were than attracted by the commotion that the Oriental Magpie-robin had created. They rushed towards the scene, having realised that the magpie-robin must have something that they could steal from. This caused the magpie-robin to flee from the site with the prey.”

KC Tsang
Singapore Botanic Gardens
5th September 2013

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