The experiments reported in this paper are designed to investigate the features of insect prey that may influence the orientation of first attack in the European blackbird. Three types of stimulus cues are considered: motion, morphological characters, and color patterns. The ontogeny of prey-handling techniques and the specific manipulatory activities involved in the breaking-up of insect prey are dealt with. The role of learning in the development of preyattack behavior is demonstrated. This study deals only with the preparation of food for selffeeding.