25 July 2013

Clamorous Reed Warbler taking fish – Sabkhat Al Fasl

On 20 July 2013, I saw a Clamorous Reed Warbler catch a fish. It picked the small fish, which was alive, from the water whilst standing in the reeds. The water was very shallow and the bird took the fish to some nearby reeds and proceeded to hit the fish on the reed stems. The bird was joined by two other Clamorous Reed Warblers and then disappeared before we could see if the fish was eaten. The behaviour certainly indicated the fish was going to be eaten, as they have been known to kill young frogs before swallowing by knocking them against ground. The food of Clamorous Reed Warbler, according to Birds of the Western Palearctic is largely insects and other invertebrates. The following has been recorded in the diet: Dragonflies and damsel flies, stoneflies, grasshoppers, mantises, bugs, adult and larval Lepidoptera, caddis flies, flies, ants, bees, beetles, spiders, slugs snails and young frogs. Plant food includes seeds of aquatic plants. In Israel a considerable proportion of food is collected from the water surface although they also take items from vegetation and by hopping about on the ground near water. Fish are not mentioned as a food source for the species so this is an interesting record.