The London Zoo has spread over a neighbouring channel, creating an area in which a bunch of birds are housed. Some in cages, some in the huge Snowdon Aviary. It houses some cranes, some ducks, green pheasants, buzzards – and Northern Bald Ibises (Geronticus eremita). Ugly-looking birds with a sad history of extinction in Europe. Read up on that at wikipedia.
Also in the aviary are African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus). In London, the zoo feeds some of the animals in the Snowdon Aviary dead rats. The ibises try to eat them, too, but for the time we watched them they failed at it. Small mammals are apparently part of their regular diet, but it seems in this case rats do not count as “small”.
The ibises kept picking up the rats – not an easy task for them – and trying to shake them to pieces. But the rats were too heavy, and thus kept slipping away, so that it looked as if the birds were trying to toss them.
But to no avail: rats to not come apart easily, nor can they be tossed into a position that allows head-first swallowing by an ibis. They are a bit too large. In the long run, I am sure that the rats did shake apart, though.
btw: photos aren’t great, I know. Sorry. It was a dark, rainy day. I got one cool shot (admittedly unintentionally) of a gull in flight.
Pingback: Theropoden-Donnerstag 44: beim Säuger-Fressen versagt | dinosaurpalaeo auf Deutsch
Stoopid birds. You should have kept your teeth. Mammals FTW!