Bird baths: the regurgitation factor

A long time ago we had two fledgling Willy Wagtails in our care, and fed them on meal-worms. Some of the meal-worms turned into beetles, which the birds pursued and ate.  They then regurgitated the hard wing-cases.
Pied Currawongs regurgitate Pittosporum seeds and the hard kernels from pomegranates. They also eat the seeds from Currajong pods, but they must be able to digest them completely.
Anthea Fleming
On 5/01/2020 9:55 am, Geoffrey Dabb wrote:

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Many years ago, my grandparents, who lived at Upwey, would occasionally put out strips of liver for the kookaburras. I remember being told (must have been about 1950) that sometimes they would cough up less desirable stuff they had eaten to enjoy the liver. I now believe this was regurgitation of undigested remains, kookaburras being one species that does this routinely.  Sometimes a bird will need to regurgitate obstructive remains to take in more food. My best example of this is a Dusky Woodswallow on a powerline, clutching a European Wasp in one foot while it ejected a large pellet of insect remains. (Photo from last June, Canberra)

A                bird sitting on a branch                Description automatically generated

This brings us of course to the Pied Currawong, the regurgitative habits of which have been discussed on more than one chatline. Messy, crumbly pellets can create a problem at backyard watering sites that the bird visits, presumably to drink, such as dogs’ water bowls, bird baths and ornamental water features. Australia’s champion regurgitator I would say (passerine division).  Indeed it might be a contender for the world title, although I believe the American Robin has a similar reputation.

There is a photo. I might just be able to fit it in under the limit if I reduce the woodswallow one.  GD

A                small bird sitting on a ledge                Description automatically generated

 

 


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