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Asian preying mantis humming birds

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Mantises are surprisingly ferocious insects; scientists have previously seen them attacking and feasting on a variety of hummingbird species. Although it has happened before, it is rarely caught on camera. The photograph is so remarkable, in fact, that it will be included in an upcoming publication about the predation of birds by praying mantises in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology , according to a statement Vaughan posted to Facebook on June 4. McGowan notes he has seen mantises stalking hummingbird feeders before, but has never witnessed an attack. Anecdotal accounts of these insects devouring hummingbirds are brutal: Mantises have been seen impaling the chest of the bird, dangling it by its legs, or in the case of this photo, grabbing it by the skull and feeding on its head.
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Hummingbirds beware: Study documents praying mantises killing, eating birds

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Praying Mantis vs. Hummingbird | Audubon

Honestly, I had never heard of this until one of our Master Naturalist brought it to my attention this week. Praying mantis, which are known to be major predators on many insects, have been known to sit on hummingbird feeders and ambush hummingbirds. Praying mantis are amazing animals, really. They are predatory insects related to grasshoppers, crickets, and cockroaches. There is… whatever they can catch. Their legs and forearms are armed with spikes that allow the mantis to grabs and hold the prey while they begin devouring with their strong, sharp jaws. Well camouflaged, they will sit on flowers, bushes, and trees awaiting an opportunity to strike.
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Chinese mantis

They blend in with their leafy surroundings, strike with lightning speed and eat the brains of small birds — and they're only about nine centimetres long. Researchers from the University of Basel have documented dozens of cases, over nearly years, of praying mantises feeding on small birds. And while they're not fussy eaters, they seem to be partial to hummingbirds. The cases span 13 countries — including Canada — and have occurred on all continents except Antarctica.
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The mantis captures the bird with a swift swipe of its forelegs. Though we tend to think of hummingbirds as cute, dainty little things, in reality they make bold and fierce competitors. They must also watch out for other animals that might prey on them, such as American kestrels in North America or tarantulas in South America. Praying mantises are also known to capture and kill hummingbirds, as a reader from West Chester, Pennsylvania, describes. The other day while I was working in the yard my son urgently called to me.
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