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Oriental Pied Hornbill fledges at Changi Village

on 9th March 2013

Singaporeans were treated to a rare occasion yesterday morning at Changi Village when they witnessed the maiden flight of an Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) chick.

The head of the chick suddenly peeped out of the nesting hole in a tree trunk, encouraged by the adults nearby (above). As is usually the case, the adults stopped feeding the chick to lure the latter out.

Peeping curiously around its new surroundings, the chick carefully squeezed itself through the narrow opening (above) before lunging out with wings outstretched (below).

The chick then plunged into its maiden flight (below).

Unfortunately the fledgling was too weak to complete the flight and landed on the ground outside a prata shop. A man seated nearby immediately caught hold of the helpless bird by the neck. As STOMPer Nikita Hengbok wrote, “Just because this selfish and inconsiderate person wanted a picture of the bird and another with the bird, he refused to release it even though many birders and photographers tried to persuade him to let it go” LINK

The adults were frantic, hopping from branch to branch calling out all the time. The bird was eventually freed but was left trumatised. Photographers and birdwatchers formed a ring round it until about half an hour later when if attempted a feeble flight. It was directed towards a wooded area where the adults eventually found it (above).

This fledgling was the last of three to fledge from the nest.

Johnny Wee
Singapore
March 2013

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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