Pellets from Tuas: 10. Black-shouldered Kite’s prey and bone fragments in the pellets
By Melinda Chan, Chan Yoke Meng & YC Wee, 6th June 2015;

On 12th February 2015, Melinda Chan collected two pellets from Tuas, around the area where the pair of Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) was nesting.

One pellet was larger than the other: 55x30x25 mm as compared to 21x20x15 mm. The larger was oval and very tightly packed in hairs. The smaller was disk-shaped, 21x20x15 mm, also covered with hairs but not as tightly packed.

The larger pellet was somewhat smaller than an earlier one that contained a complete skull, believed to come from a Common Barn Owl (Tyto alba).

However, on dissecting this larger pellet, there was no skull, only bone fragments from the head that included jaw bones, loose molars, an incisor, vertebrae, etc. But there was no complete skull. So in all probably the pellet came from a kite that had fed on parts of the mouse head and not from an owl.

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Source: Bird Ecology Study Group

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