An open-content, electronic journal published by the Animal Demography Unit
at the University of Cape Town

Never give up - Common Fiscal and chameleon encounter

Graham A Millar

On 23 July 2012 at about 18:15, whilst walking in the wetlands area at the eastern edge of Tokai Forest, Cape Town, I heard a rustling in the tall reeds. On closer inspection I found a Common Fiscal Lanius collaris (Dean 2005) hanging from a tall reed about 1.5 m from the ground. Its bill appeared to be entangled in the reed. The bird did not move ? it was just hanging by its bill. I approached it and took hold of it to release it. I was certain I was going to get a nasty bite once I had freed it, as these birds can be very aggressive. However I found that it was not entangled but had grabbed a Dwarf Chameleon Bradypodion pumilum by the head Burger 2007). The Fiscal was trying to use its weight to tire chameleon out in order to pull it off the reed. The bird did not release the chameleon even when I was holding it firmly in my hand....

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