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1 April 2005 ‘Elepaio “anting” with a garlic snail and a Schinus fruit
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Abstract

Anting is a widespread but poorly understood behavior in which birds apply ants or other organisms or objects to their plumage or skin. I observed two instances of active anting in the ‘Elepaio (Chasiempis sandwichensis), a monarch flycatcher endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, one involving a garlic snail (Oxychilus alliarius) and the second involving a fruit of Brazilian pepper or Christmas berry (Schinus terebinthifolius). On both occasions the ‘Elepaio held the object in its bill and wiped it on its body then preened, but did not eat the object. Chemical compounds contained in each species are known to have antibiotic properties, suggesting the purpose of the anting was to control parasites or pathogens. There are no native ants in Hawaii, and neither the garlic snail nor Brazilian pepper is native to Hawaii.

Eric A. VanderWerf "‘Elepaio “anting” with a garlic snail and a Schinus fruit," Journal of Field Ornithology 76(2), 134-137, (1 April 2005). https://doi.org/10.1648/0273-8570-76.2.134
Received: 20 January 2004; Accepted: 1 July 2004; Published: 1 April 2005
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