Date: 4/27/17 3:07 pm
From: Ragupathy Kannan <0000013b0ad14faf-dmarc-request...>
Subject: Re: Why do Great Egrets dunk and shake frogs before eating them?
I agree with you, Clark.  As Joe Neal aptly puts it below, often the simplest explanation is the best (and probably valid).  
Hi Kannan, For what it's worth, I have seen exactly this behavior on the part of Great Blue Herons and fish. I have always assumed it had something to do with orienting the fish -- sometimes very large fish -- before trying to swallow. I've also wondered if the not immediately swallowing behavior, dropping them, messing with them, might be to ensure they are dead.

On Thursday, 27 April 2017 4:13 PM, "Reames, Clark -FS" <creames...> wrote:

#yiv7397800749 -- filtered {font-family:Helvetica;panose-1:2 11 6 4 2 2 2 2 2 4;}#yiv7397800749 filtered {panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4;}#yiv7397800749 filtered {font-family:Calibri;panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4;}#yiv7397800749 filtered {panose-1:2 11 5 2 4 2 4 2 2 3;}#yiv7397800749 p.yiv7397800749MsoNormal, #yiv7397800749 li.yiv7397800749MsoNormal, #yiv7397800749 div.yiv7397800749MsoNormal {margin:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;font-size:12.0pt;}#yiv7397800749 a:link, #yiv7397800749 span.yiv7397800749MsoHyperlink {color:blue;text-decoration:underline;}#yiv7397800749 a:visited, #yiv7397800749 span.yiv7397800749MsoHyperlinkFollowed {color:purple;text-decoration:underline;}#yiv7397800749 span.yiv7397800749EmailStyle17 {color:#1F497D;}#yiv7397800749 .yiv7397800749MsoChpDefault {font-size:10.0pt;}#yiv7397800749 filtered {margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in;}#yiv7397800749 div.yiv7397800749WordSection1 {}#yiv7397800749 So I gather from this that white ibis can ingest cane toads with no ill effects?  I wouldn’t think that a quick rinsing would reduce the toxicity much at all.  Maybe the dunking just helps to lube the frog to slide down the gullet easier or something as simple as the bird shifting its grip on the frog to reposition it to swallow.  Of course I am just speculating here…  
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| Clark Reames
Wildlife Program Manager |
| Forest Service Malheur National Forest |
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<creames...> |
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    From: The Birds of Arkansas Discussion List [mailto:<ARBIRD-L...>]On Behalf Of Ragupathy Kannan
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 6:37 PM
To: <ARBIRD-L...>
Subject: Why do Great Egrets dunk and shake frogs before eating them?   Interesting conversation in MO-birds.  Read from bottom-up.  Kannan ----------------------------------- Lawrence Herbert <certhia13...> To <MOBIRDS-L...>   Hi Andrew and Mobirders, I think that Chis may be close to right.  But, I am not sure and I haven't  come across that in the lit. either.   Here's a thought:  maybe they're breaking up some bones so that it will go down easier ! Larry, in Joplin. Lawrence Herbert   <certhia13...>                       4-25-17.  Hide original message   On Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 3:10 PM, Chris Corben <cjcorben...> wrote:

Hi Andrew

I have seen this in Australia with a White Ibis eating a Cane Toad. Cane Toads are extremely toxic to mammals at least, and a lot of frogs have toxins in the skin which are easily capable of making a human feel ill. I know from personal experience that you can get sick from just eating food with hands with have handled frogs. But if you wash your hands first, even rather briefly, it seems to eliminate the risk, so I would guess a lot of the toxins might be very water soluble, and that it might be quite a good idea to wash the frog first. Repeated processing might work well with things like toads where substantial glands can exude toxins for extended periods.

Cheers, Chris.

On 4/25/2017 10:57 AM, Andrew Reago wrote:
I've witnessed a number of Great Egrets capture frogs and eat them, but I've also watched as they have dunked the frogs over and over in the water, shaking the frogs in between dunks, before eating them.  What are they doing?  If they did it just a few times, I'd think they were cleaning the frog, but repeatedly doing it?  I can't find anything online.     Anyone know?  Any ornithologists out there study this behavior?   Thanks,   Andy Reago   St. Louis MO

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