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

Pellets from Tuas: 8. Black-shouldered Kite feeding chicks
By Chan Yoke Meng & Melinda Chan, 13th April 2015;

The ground below the nest of the Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) is often littered with carcases of mice and numerous pellets. The image above shows a headless mice found below the nest. An intact mouse was also found below the nest.

We believe they fell from the nest when brought in by an adult. We had observed that within minutes on the ground the dead mice would be covered with ants. Thus returning it to the nest would introduce ants and pathogens. Another reason these fallen mice were not retrieved can be that there were no shortage of mice in the area.

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Source: Bird Ecology Study Group

Came across this gorgeous dead Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) while out birding today. You can clearly see the beautifully exposed sternum bone and parts of the wing bones (especially the carpometacarpus) beginning to show.

Source: David Tan Instagram