Aerial insect feeding by mixed species – Baya Weaver

posted in: Feeding-invertebrates | 0
Baya Weaver chasing after an insect
Baya Weaver chasing after an insect

“Most of us would have experienced the mixed species feeding frenzy on alate termites. See as an example: LINK.

Baya Weaver and a Yellow-vented Bulbul sitting on the fringe of the Madras Thorn tree looking out for prey
Baya Weaver and a Yellow-vented Bulbul sitting on the fringe of the Madras Thorn tree looking out for prey

“This weekend I observed a similar mixed species feeding on aerial Insect but these were not termites (suspect they are some species of Mymaridae, commonly known as fairyflies or fairy wasps).

An immature Asian Glossy Starling going after its prey
An immature Asian Glossy Starling going after its prey

“These insects were fluttering around a Madras Thorn tree (Pithecellobium dulce) near my home and hence less birds were involved; only the Yellow-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus goiavier analis), Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis strigata) and Baya Weavers (Ploceus philippinus infortunatus).

A composite of Yellow-vented Bulbuls with prey
A composite of Yellow-vented Bulbuls with prey

“The Baya Weavers were a complete surprise. Although I am aware, and have seen them take animal prey, the fact that they would sally out to catch such insects was unexpected. All birds would return to the tree to feed. Occasionally there were clashes between birds who had both sallied out to the same prey.

A clash between two Yellow-vented Bulbuls - they were the best at hunting for these insects
A clash between two Yellow-vented Bulbuls – they were the best at hunting for these insects

“Images are limited as I stood at a distance to observe the whole event and insect feeding episodes were random and unpredictable.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 15th October 2016

Location: Ipoh City, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Urban Environment

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