on 4th November 2012

“While observing a boisterous flock of Oriental Pied Hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris) feeding on figs beside a beach in Langkawi in October 2012, I noticed a secluded pair perched quietly on another fig tree not too far away (above: male above, female below). This pair had clearly decided not to engage in the fig feeding frenzy, but spend some quality time together instead.

“When the female tossed her head back and exposed her neck feathers, the male lowered his head and gently preened this portion with the tip of its beak (above).

“This was followed by the mutual clasping of beaks (above), which is probably analogous to kissing in humans, [known as allobilling: LINK]

“Thereafter, they proceeded with mutual sliding of beaks against each other (below).

“While witnessing such heartwarming displays of affection between the hornbills, I was reminded of the importance of regular demonstrations of sincere gestures to strengthen bonds, not just between birds, but among humans too.”

Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
23rd October 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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