© Yellow-vented Bulbul fly-chased cicada for breakfast

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“Finally, it was time DGscope got dusted out. It was time again to re-horn my digiscoping skills in preparation for my next overseas birding trip – in search of a ‘nympha’ bird.

“With advancing clearing of lands for buildings/development and deterioration of local birding sites, the exuberance of birding ‘in my backyard’ had long lost lustre. I had to find somewhere to zest up.

“This… I recently found a garden compound in a village Malaysian government-run clinic. The bird of the day observed was no other than the ubiquitous, most popular resident – Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) in foraging action.

“I was taking a coffee break beside my vehicle when something flew in a hurry and that caught my attention.

“The bird was low flying, chasing a large insect and heading towards my direction. On a couple of occasions, bird managed to bill-catch, having momentarily lost its grip and sending the six- legged to struggle free. It was quite unusual as no distressful, sounding calls of screaming cicadas came from the ill fated insect.

“Flyboy-the Yellow-vented Bulbul’s perseverance paid off.

“DGscope soon got into action and managed a quick shot at Flyboy the moment it landed on a grassy patch, near a tree with its priced catch.

YVB-cicada [DaisyO'Neill] 1

“The insect appeared to look like a cicada (above).

YVB-cicada [DaisyO'Neill] 2

“Of some interest, one of its claws was hanging on to an orangey piece of… perhaps a part of the insect’s internal organs divorced by Flyboy’s extraction force. Or… was it a piece of debris caught up when the lifeless insect was receiving repeated death blows off the ground (above)?

YVB-cicada [DaisyO'Neill] 3

“Whatever that piece was, it didn’t look too happy (above).

“Soon, Flyboy wasted no time to demolish its huge breakfast after repeatedly threw and smashed the insect carcass on the grass floor.

YVB-cicada [DaisyO'Neill] 4

“Possessively, the bird flew and took to another position, safer and further away (above).

YVB-cicada [DaisyO'Neill] 5

“Having systematically extracted all soft and juicy internals of the insect, Flyboy posed and displayed the cicada’s exoskeleton (above).

YVB-cicada [DaisyO'Neill] 6

“Nothing went to waste as the crunchy, shell like casing was simply too crisp to the bite to ignore (above)!.

“A total of 10(ten) minutes was all that took to fly chase and to devour the cicada species, before Flyboy – the Yellow-vented Bulbul flew away with breakfast remnant.

“This is my warm-up 1st article for 2017.”

Avian Writer Daisy O’Neill
Penang Malaysia

Copyright article and all Images – Courtesy of Daisy ONeill Bird Conservation Fund

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