North Island Robin Photographed Eating an Oyster Mushroom

  Posted on 05 April 2020  |    Hyphae  |    1 Comment

The North Island robin is a species of Australasian robin endemic to the North Island of New Zealand. Wikipedia

Photos have emerged of the North Island robin appearing to be eating an oyster mushroom. The photos were posted on inaturalist by the user  jacqui-nz.

 

At this stage, oyster mushrooms can host a number of different protein-based insect snacks. I am unsure if the Robin is eating the oyster mushroom or the bugs within it. But from the photos and the marks on the oysters, it looks like it is eating the mushroom hosted on a Cabbage tree.

Jacqui wrote on the observation:

"Much of their diet consists of invertebrates, and they also eat small ripe fruit in summer and autumn, particularly during drought when few soil-dwelling invertebrates are available." http://nzbirdsonline.org.nz/species/north-island-robin

If you go looking for oyster mushrooms at night you will sometimes see the mighty Weta feasting on insects hosted by the oyster mushroom.

Photo from one of the smaller mushrooms of the P. Parsonsiae people is growing all over NZ.

The common fungus gnats would be most common on Oyster mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms actually put out chemicals to attract insects because they like to feast on nematodes. So I am not sure vegetarians should be eating wild oyster mushrooms.

One more reason why you should join https://inaturalist.nz you come across some of the coolest people on the planet. Every observation helps scientists learn.