“Took my wife out for a long walk… and also took my camera along. We were in open fields with trees and adjacent to secondary jungle. Wasn’t planning much bird watching but got some spectacular sights.
“We spent 15-20 minutes watching a battle for a nest hole between Dollarbirds (Eurystomus orientalis) and Jungle Mynas (Acridotheres fuscus). It was an abandoned woodpecker’s hole, 5-6 meters up a dead coconut tree trunk (ablove left). The mynas were initially below the Dollarbird (above centre), making sorties upwards to dislodge the Dollarbird who was covering the cavity with its body (above right). Not sure how he managed to grip the surface of the tree trunk.
“It was hard to get shots as the action was fast and furious and the sun was in the way (mid morning). I think there are no young in the nest, just a fight for a nesting hole.
“It is not possible to tell the Dollarbird sexes apart but the presumed male did most of the “fighting” that involved direct confrontation, physically intimidating the mynas (above left) and chasing them in flight. The female only helped three times by “dive bombing” the Jungle Mynas (above right) – the rest of the time she sat quite low on a nearby branch to watch. Both male and female Jungle Mynas fought back.
“There was much aerial combat – with the Dollarbird “dive bombing” the Jungle Mynas to chase them from the hole. There was also much squabbling/calls to intimidate. Also some “face offs”.
“The Dollarbirds won, the male with wings stretched (above right) and the Jungle Mynas retreating (above left)”
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Tanjung Rambutan area, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 9th February 2009
Check out an earlier account of the Dollarbird physically dragging a parakeet out of its nesting cavity.