Green-backed Tit – feeding technique

TitGrBk [AmarSingh]

“We saw many tits at a number of locations and the commonest was the Green-backed Tit (Parus monticolus monticolus). It is very acrobatic when foraging and has a wide diet – invertebrates, insects, fruit, seeds/nuts, etc. (above). We also saw it as part of mix-species foraging.

TitGrBk [AmarSingh]

“On a number of occasions I spotted a feeding technique used to deal with hard nuts. The bird would hold the nut, on a fairly horizontal branch, tightly in the grip of both feet (above). It would then ‘hack-away’ at the nut and feed on small pieces (below).

TitGrBk [AmarSingh]

“This technique allows it to deal with larger nuts.

TitGrBk [AmarSingh]

“Above is of a different episode. I suspect this technique is not uncommon (also among other tits) but not adequately reported. I am able to spot similar activity in a few images posted online. Appreciate any link to literature on the behaviour, if any.

“I tried a short handheld long lens shaky video (below).

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
8th November 2017

Location: Thoolakharka (also known as Australian Base Camp), Gandaki Zone, Western Region, Nepal, at 2050m ASL
Habitat: Secondary growth surrounded by primary forest

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