The Openbill’s Preference for Snails
The diet of Asian openbills is highly specified—they have a strong preference for snails, including the invasive channeled apple snail. Based on research data, a 15-day old nestling can eat 143 grams of snails in mere 24 hours, almost equaling its own body weight. Asian openbills are sensitive to snails and clams hiding in the mud. Wading in the marshes and farmlands, they search the muddy land with their odd-looking bills, just like a farmer plowing the fields.