Chan Boon Hong was at the Gardens by the Bay recently when he noticed an Oriental Honey-buzzard (Pernis ptilorhyncus) flew past him. It made a round in the sky before taking off. This gave him a chance to grab his camera and take a few shots of the raptor with one of its feet clutching something (above).
Imagine his surprise when the images were downloaded on his computer and he identified the massive object as a large chunk of honeycomb (above, below). It must have ripped off the chunk probably from a nearby bees’ nest and flying off from the angry bees.
The Oriental Honey-buzzard is a common migrant to Singapore. It feeds on insects, small mammals, reptiles and birds. Thus it regularly raids the nests of bees and wasps. Chunks of honeycombs are ripped off and flown to a distant perch where the honey-buzzard will feast on the larvae (and not the honey – Buczacki, 2002) without being troubled by the stinging insects.
Chan Boon Hong
This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behavior through photography and videography to a wider audience.
Buczacki, Stefan, 2002. Fauna Britannica. Hamlyn, London. 528pp.