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Q. Dear Savvy,

What kind of food web do you have for the Native bird the fantail?

Thanks heaps



A. Dear Courtney,

Thanks for sharing your question with other Caretakers of the Rice Lake Plains. The Rice Lake Plains is a very special area in Northumberland, ON. Here on the Plains, we have tallgrass prairie, oak savanna, and woodland ecosystems. And don't forget all of the especially exciting and biodiverse edges and transition zones between the habitats. Because the Rice Lake Plains is such a specialized type of environment, there are only certain types of birds and critters living here. Sadly, we are not a suitable environment for the fantail.

Fantails are small insectivorous birds of Asia and Australasia belonging to the genus Ripidura. The wings of fantails are tapered and have sacrificed speed for agility, making fantails extremely adept at catching insect prey. Overall the fantails are strong fliers and some species can undertake long migration.

The majority of the diet of fantails composes of small insects and invertebrates. Insect prey is usually small and easily-handled, but larger items sometimes need to be subdued by banging it on branches, an action that also removes the wings of larger prey items like moths. Although the tallgrass prairie is home to many different insects, we do not have the specific type of insect the Fantail needs to eat.
~ Savvy

A Grey Fantail in Australia, feeding its brood insect prey.
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