“The actual moment of slugs predating on nestlings isn’t easy to observe,” says Katarzyna Turzańska at the University of Wroclaw in Poland. “You are more likely to come across the traces of the ‘tragedy’: dead or alive nestlings with heavy injuries, covered in slime – and often slugs’ droppings found nearby.”
She and Justyna Chachulska, a colleague at the University of Zielona Góra in Poland, were studying common whitethroat birds near Wroclaw, in Poland, when they spotted a slug of the Arion genus in a nest with newly hatched chicks. The next day, the slug was gone, and the chicks were dead with severe injuries on their bodies that hinted at the slug as the culprit.
They were gobsmacked. “We couldn’t believe that the slug had killed the nestlings,” says Turzańska. “We talked to many experienced ornithologists, but none of them had observed slug predatory behaviour towards birds before.”
Gadzooks! Not gobsmacked!
Note that only “defenseless” baby birds were devoured. Those trained in Krav Maga were less prone to slug attacks.
Be careful, you could be next.
By the way, the entire 1988 horror movie “Slugs” is available on YouTube. For science.