[Tweeters] Predation of a Hummer by a Preying Mantis

Brett Wolfe m_lincolnii at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 21 10:55:34 PDT 2005

Thanks Ron, that is indeed an incredible story with some great photos.

This summer, while I was working for PRBO Conservation Science in the San Joaquin Valley, one of my co-workers told us at a meeting about what she had seen. She was trying to find a nest for a Spotted Towhee, and was diligently watching the female. She did note some movement over her head and after a few moments looked up to see what was going on. She saw an Ash-throated Flycatcher with something in it's beak, beating it against a branch, Anyone who knows these birds and other flycatchers, has likely seen them do this to subdue their prey. Well, it looked like a pretty good-sized prey item, and upon closer review, she determined that the Ash-throat had captured a juvenile Black-chinned Hummingbird! My co-worker watched in both horror and fascination at the spectacle before her, including the Ash-throat finally giving up on the beating and swallowing the baby hummer dazed but alive (apparently, baby hummers are quite tough, but this one was still doomed). She said it was kind!
of sad
to see the adult female Black-chin come around and buzz the spot repeatedly, apparently seeking its' offspring. Life can be tough on baby birds as we all know, but for hummingbirds, it is apparently tougher than we ever guessed!

Brett A. Wolfe
Seattle, WA
m_lincolnii at yahoo.com

Ron <rmcclsky at mindspring.com> wrote:
I got this link from one of the insect lists that I subscribe to and was fascinated by the text and pictures. Predation of a bird by an insect is certainly not something that I had considered before.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


Best wishes,
Ron McCluskey
Cheney, WA

Tweeters mailing list
Tweeters at u.washington.edu

Yahoo! FareChase - Search multiple travel sites in one click.

More information about the Tweeters mailing list