Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Bay-backed Shrike: the butcher of a bird....

I am sure that a lot us would be knowing this fact for sure. Shrikes are butchers. They capture a small animal or an insect and then take it and impale it on a thorn and eat them at their time and mercy. I had witnessed this a long time back - a time when I had nothing to record the event. Last week during my birding visit to Anantgiri I witnessed it again and this time I had a camera to record the event.

Let me just introduce the species for you first. They belong to family of Laniidae and it is composed of thirty one species in all. The family name, Lanius is derived from latin word for 'Butcher'. Interestingly these birds are found in Asia, America, Africa and skip Australia. India has ten of the thirty one mentioned above.

It may seem gruesome - and nature has its own way...  The bird is Bay-backed Shrike and the pictures below give the entire story that was captured. It started with a picture that I could not take. The bird jumped a few feet from me and picked up a huge insect and flew and sat down on a branch at some distance - but the one I could observe well.

It looks around searching for a spot. I suspect that it had come to the right place as the thorn it used later was just in front of it.

On second thoughts if you look carefully the thorn in front of the bird might be showing signs of having been used in the past.
The bird actually took time - like it was surveying around for any competitors ?
...and there it impales the insect right there in front of my eyes.

... Okay - it seems it is time to check out the handiwork.

I guess it is all fine...

...time to enjoy the meal - a bit at a time

...that's cruelly yummy I suppose.

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