Encounter with a family of Oriental Pied Hornbills

posted in: Hornbills, Morphology-Develop. | 0

“My wife and I were travelling when she spotted a small flock of Oriental Pied Hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris convexus) by the road side (along the old trunk road near Tanjung Malim). We scrambled to stop at a safe location and slowly made our way back to them on foot. There were 5 of them – 1 adult male, 1 adult female and 3 immature females (another option is moulting – value opinions here).

“They were busy preening except for the adult male that repeatedly checked out the street light as a nesting site (above, left to right: adult male, adult female and immature female). The adult female was beside him when this activity was on going. Oriental Pied Hornbills have been reported to nest in containers/man made structures locally LINK.

“The above image shows the adult female in flight.

“The image below (left) shows an immature – notice the brown in the plumage of the wings. The image on the right is a composite showing male-female differentiation (female above). The female has a smaller casque and red-brown spot at base of bill. Also some iris differences hard to see in these images (female red-brown, male red, see Wells 1999).

“My initial impression was a family group, but with the ‘nesting behaviour’ wonder if there is any polygamous behaviour or adaption due to dwindling numbers?”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS & Datin Dr Lim Swee-Im
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
17th March 2012

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