Friday, 17 June 2016

Kleptoparasitism on Mt Jenner?

Kleptoparasitism (literally, parasitism by theft) is a form of feeding in which one animal takes prey or other food from another that has caught, collected, or otherwise prepared the food. The kleptoparasite gains prey or objects not otherwise obtainable or which otherwise require time and effort.

Well I'm not sure if the term kleptoparasite is correctly applied to the Alpine Choughs that make their home on Mt. Jenner, but the birds are most certainly opportunists stealing anything left on the exterior tables of the restaurant at the top of the mountain.

Alpine Chough
 Like all members of the Crow family these birds are extremely intelligent. When it comes to 'stealing' food, they always case the joint out before a smash-and-grab raid.

There's something interesting over there...
It looks safe to go!
Of course even the best prepared Alpine Chough will find itself in competition from his/her peers.

She dropped something on the floor...
In we go!
Competition has arrived...
...but there's nothing left!
Yet again it seems the early bird catches the worm biscuit!

Back to my perch
Ahem... Perfect landing!
Okay where's the next morsel coming from?
I'm not sure human scraps are the best diet for these birds, but they seem to be thriving.