A unique prey handling behavior of the Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) was observed at Büdös-szék, a soda pan near Pusztaszer, Hungary, on 13 May 2007. The observed individual caught a large marsh frog (Pelophylax ridibundus), but was unable to swallow it immediately because the marsh frog kept spreading its limbs as a defensive behavior. Using its lower and upper mandibles, the Eurasian Spoonbill exerted a series of pressing movements to the head and body of the marsh frog, and then grabbed each limb with its bill and shook the marsh frog under the water to break the limbs one by one. Finally, when all the limbs had been broken, the bird was able to swallow the large marsh frog. This prey handling took approximately 10 min.
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Vol. 40 • No. 1