Oriental Pied Hornbill raided Little Heron’s nest

on 4th September 2012

Johnny Wee was at a mangrove patch in Singapore’s Pasir Ris Park on 29th August 2012 when he detected a pair of Oriental Pied Hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris) moving around the branches of a bakau putih tree (Bruguiera cylindrica). The pair was moving towards a Little Heron’s (Butorides striatus) nest where an adult was incubating its eggs. The male hornbill moved nearer and drove the incubating heron away while his mate stood by. The displaced heron showed its agitation with head and neck feathers raised (above and below).

Size and number were major factors in this confrontation and so the heron could only stand by helplessly as the male hornbill raided the nest of its three eggs. The female hornbill joined him at the nest where he carefully picked up an egg and fed her with it. The image below shows the male hornbill with an egg delicately clamped between the tips of his large mandibles before swallowing it. He also ate up the remaining egg.

Johnny Wee
August 2012

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

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.

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