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Eating pigeons is not the native behavior of the catfish. Few fishermen on the island of river Tarn observed this unusual behavior. They were horrified on seeing three-four feet long catfish suddenly coming out of the water to hunt the warm blooded bird. Julien Cucherousset, a biologist at Paul Sabatier University after hearing about this unusual behavior went to capture the footage of this event. You can see the video here-
Scientists observed that the catfish waited in shallow waters for their prey. The hunting strategy of these fish is similar to the breaching killer whales that hunt seals on ice floes. Scientists believe that while waiting for their prey, the fish sense the vibrations of the approaching pigeons using their whiskers. The scientists have recorded 54 such breaching behaviors.
The competition for food resources in the river might have caused these fish to feed on pigeons. The fish silently wait for their feathered prey in shallow waters and risk being stranded on the bank to catch them. The success rate of this hunting strategy is 28 percent which means that only 28 times out of 100 these fish succeed in dragging their prey to water and swallow them later. Scientists believe that lesser number of the usual prey like crayfish and other smaller fish might have forced the catfish to start hunting.