“Visits by the Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris convexus) to our urban Ipoh garden have been one of the most unexpected and delightful events in our lives. Although there are many in Perak (Peninsular Malaysia), they are largely confined to lowland rain forest, swampy location, near rivers and some islands.
“We have seen them twice before in our garden – eight and three years ago, once a single individual, the second time a pair. Both prior were in June-August months (dry season).
“Today [13th June 2009, 6pm], just when arriving back from work, was delighted to hear a female calling out loudly, making some of my neighbor’s curious as to the sound. I got the camera and rushed out without changing. It was hard to spot her in the foliage of a tall tree and as I got close she flew into the overgrown nearby graveyard. I followed (despite being “inappropriately” dressed) and saw a House Crow (Corvus splendens) chasing her off from another tree. Fortunately I had recoded her calls (with the Nikon D90) and played them back. After some time of doing so, spotted her on a tall bare branch some distance away, calling again and got some good views for 30 minutes.
“A composite above shows the posture during calls. The head would be arched back, the beak open and a loud “crackling bray/laugh” – HERE.
More rarely she made a softer, closed bill, piping sound HERE
“She spent close to 30 minutes calling – with breaks of 2-4 minutes in between and calls durations of 10-30 seconds.
“I was at first considering the A. a. albirostris subspecies because the undersurface of the tail looked back in flight but on processing the shots, recognised I had been fooled by the tail opening in flight to reveal the upper tail feathers. So it is A. a. convexus sbspecies. A composite to show this.”
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Canning Garden Home
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
20th February 2010