Hornbills and palm fruits

on 23rd January 2012

KC Tsang took an images of an Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) feeding on the fruits of this palm (left). The palm was growing within the compound of the SIA Clubhouse in Singapore. Unfortunately we are unable to identify the palm. So many palm species have been brought into Singapore for horticultural plantings that it is not easy to identify many of them unless they have distinctive parts. We would appreciate if someone could help in this respect.

It is possible that palm fruits are a favourite with the Oriental Pied Hornbills. Earlier KC documented this hornbill eating fruits of the carpentaria palm LINK 1. Another food palm is MacArthur palm (Ptycospermun macarthuri) LINK 2 and LINK 3.

With so many palms being planted all over Singapore, their fruits can become an important factor in sustaining more than the currently small population found on the main island. However, we need more observations on the relationship between this hornbill and the different palms.

KC Tsang
January 2012

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YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

2 Responses

  1. Isn’t this the Macarthur palm as well?

    The fruits of the palm in LINK 2, on the other hand, look far too big to be Ptychosperma, may be Carpentaria instead, but can’t be sure without a wider shot of the leaves.

  2. Talking about palms and hornbills, when I was in lake kenyir(malaysia) 2 years ago, I noticed that the Great hornbills love the fruits of the ubiquitous oil palm there… 🙂

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