Sunday, March 6

Mid-afternoon snack

We have been missing BBS (backyard brown shrike) for two seasons now and so far, no other shrike has taken over her territory. And so the backyard is teeming with happy Eurasian Tree Sparrows and an even happier pair of Philippine Pied Fantails who have been lording over the garden AND the empty lot next door. 

So we haven't been witness to much carnage and butchery recently.

Until yesterday afternoon.  I was sitting in the front yard when I was surprised by a sudden rustling on the vine beside me.  I quickly spotted side street brown shrike (who sometimes comes to the front yard) landing on a rambutan tree branch above me, carrying some tasty morsel.

It stared at me and I stared at it.  After a few minutes it began eating and I figured it wasn't going to mind my prying eyes.  I rushed into the house to grab my camera and rushed back to the garden seat.  Sure enough the brown shrike ignored me and went on about its business... of decapitating a poor little garden gecko!

What tasty treat have you caught in the garden brown shrike?

A quick re-positioning of the gecko's head in its beak (with a lifeless eye staring right at me), a gulp and a swallow... yum. Another unfortunate victim.

Gulp... Yummy!

It picked at the body, tearing of bits of flesh. Later it flew off and over the fence with the remaining  carcass... probably to its larder for safe keeping. Or more convenient eating.

I guess the tail was eaten before the head. Anyone care to ID these remains?

I guess even in the absence of BBS, the little creatures are still not safe in the garden!