Johnny Wee was holidaying in Rebak Island off Langkawi, Malaysia in late June 2011 when he encountered Oriental Pied Hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris) catching and eating crabs. It was then evening and the tide was low. Suddenly more than 20 hornbills flew down to the beach to forage (left). They were targeting the small crabs, catching and swallowing them whole. This was the first time Johnny witnessed hornbills eating crabs (below).
The food of the Oriental Pied Hornbill includes mainly fruits. It also takes small animals like insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, snails, earthworms, lizards and small birds. It has been recorded that it occasionally takes fish and crabs from water (Kemp, 2001).
Kemp, A. C. (2001). Family Bucerotidae (Hornbills). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal (eds.). Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 6. Mousebirds to Hornbills. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp. 436-523.
Bird Ecology Study Group Oriental Pied Hornbills and the foods they take
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