blp shabash 430x45

Shining Bronze-Cuckoo

Shining Bronze-Cuckoo (Image ID 37962)
Photographed bySteve Mantle on Wed 6th Nov, 2019 and uploaded on Fri 3rd Jan, 2020 .
Resolution1400x788
Viewed21
ID37962
CommentOne in a late afternoon multi-image series of this SBC catching, tenderising, and eating this Monarch Caterpillar. Interestingly, the monarch larva contain a toxin derived from the milky sap of milkweed, and their bright stripes act as a warning to predators. Even more interesting is that Pied Currawongs and Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes are the only birds who eat the caterpillars (and butterflies) 'holus-bolus' without suffering ill-effects. But wait there's more! Some other birds, such as the SBC, have learned that if the larva is well and truly eviscerated, the remnants may also be eaten without ill-effect. Considering that the Monarch is not a native Aussie species (some say introduced as far back as 1871) it goes to show how some of our home grown species have developed strategies to deal with foreign invaders e.g. Australian Ravens and Cane Toads. Nature is amazing!
EquipmentCanon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM +1.4x III
LocationPort Macquarie, New South Wales
Keywordsfeeding/with prey, adult
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