Thursday, September 3, 2009

An observation of Jungle Crows feeding on a Brown-headed Barbet

Crows are well known for their opportunistic habits. They are recorded as mobbing, killing juveniles, weaker birds, and adults of several other bird species. Crows are also known to feed on eggs and chicks in the nest.

Following observation was made in a moderately wooded suburban area in Piliyandala. On 24 June 2009 at around 10am, I observed a pair of Jungle Crows (Corvus levaillantii) perched on the branch of a mango tree feed on an unidentified object of moderate size. One of the crows was holding it by a leg and both birds were seen feeding on it. A few moments later, the object was dropped to the ground. When examined, it was clear that it was the skull of a Brown-headed Barbet (Megalaima zeylanica). The whiskers and bare facial skin were intact whereas the rest of the fleshy parts were absent. It was not difficult to recognise that the bird had been recently killed. The appearance of the beak and other parts suggested that the barbet was an adult. The surroundings were searched for any other remnants of the dead bird, but without success. Two other jungle crows were present in the vicinity at the time.

It is not clear whether the crows killed the barbet or if it was scavenged as carrion. Based on the condition of the skull, the barbet was probably a healthy individual; therefore accidental death while possible, is unlikely. Predatory attacks on the barbet cannot be ruled out although no predatory bird or mammal was observed in the vicinity.

Reported by C.D. Kaluthota

11 comments:

Gallicissa said...

A Black-rumped Flameback immature almost fell victim to Jungle Crow in my yard last month.

As this is the breeding season they may be opportunistically be going after unsuspecting birds, among other prey.

C.D. Kaluthota said...

Yes, it is possible. However, we need more evidences.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Nice fill someone in on and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you for your information.

Anonymous said...

Brim over I agree but I think the brief should have more info then it has.

Anonymous said...

Cool story you got here. I'd like to read more about that theme. Thnx for giving this information.

Anonymous said...

Hello,nice post thanks for sharing?. I just joined and I am going to catch up by reading for a while. I hope I can join in soon.

Pramith said...

I found an injured brown headed barbet. Any idea what kind of fruits it feeds on?

Anonymous said...

All kind of friuts are suitable for Barbets. You can use commonly available mangoes and papaya.

Anonymous said...

Hi
Very nice and intrestingss story.

Anonymous said...

It was extremely interesting for me to read the blog. Thanx for it. I like such topics and anything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more soon.

Avril Benedict