On 26th January 2009, Mark G photographed three Oriental Pied Hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris) feasting in a fig tree (Ficus benjamina) outside the Jurong Chinese Garden (above). The hornbills typically picked a fig at the tip of its bill, tossed it into the air to catch it in its mouth. This is how it deals with small figs. The hornbills remained for more than an hour and returned the next few days.
Earlier on 18th January, Kenneth Lumb similarly saw the three hornbills (above). Unlike Mark, Kenneth was surprised to encounter hornbills on mainland Singapore.
Yes, Oriental Pied Hornbills are relatively common in certain areas on mainland Singapore – see HERE. At the last count, there are more than 50 birds in Singapore, of which about 20 can be seen on the mainland, the rest on Pulau Ubin. Check out this LINK to read what is being done to increase the population of these large and impressive birds in Singapore.
Very interesting record!
I’m wondering about the source of these birds; whether they were dispersals from the wild population in Ubin and Changi, the feral population of hybrid origin from central Singapore, or the the family that was reintroduced to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
Actually, there are 50+ in Ubin & 10+ in Changi alone.
Singapore's Hornbills Come Back - xdmshornbillss jimdo page!
[…] and Prof Ng Soon Chye, Oriental Pied Hornbills are becoming quite common in parts of Singapore. This report from the Bird Ecology Study Group in Singapore includes great photos of some semi-urban hornbills. […]
Bird Ecology Study Group Trees for Birds: 1. Ficus benjamina (Waringin, Weeping Fig)
[…] figs LINK. G., Mark & K. Lumb, 2010. Oriental pied hornbills at Singapore’s Chinese Garden LINK. Redzian, A. R. & Mark Chua, 2009. Yellow-vented bulbul swallows figs LINK. Subaraj, R., 2006. […]