“Last year, I saw an Oriental Honey-buzzard (Pernis ptilorhyncus) in action. It first peeped into the nest of a pair of Black-naped Orioles (Oriolus chinensis) from a distance of barely half a metre. Surprisingly, the pair of Black-naped Orioles failed to actively defend their nest. The orioles were screaming in the background, making lots of alarm calls, but did not mob the honey-buzzard. It ended well, however, as the honey-buzzard lost interest and fed on an hornets’ nest that it found. Recently, another encounter of the two species showed that an Oriental Honey Buzzard can be mobbed and harassed by Black-naped Orioles.
“Three weeks ago, I came across this Oriental Honey-buzzard that was preening itself on a bare branch (above). After about 10 minutes of peaceful preening, a Black-naped Oriole whizzed past.
The honey-buzzard did not seem to react to this act of provocation (warning, perhaps). Moments later, it seemed on alert. It was attentive before developing into an obviously flustered state as it raised its wings. This time, it was reacting before another attack. A split second after this, the culprit was observed flying menacingly close to the honey-buzzard (above). The honey-buzzard had to raise its tail high up for balance. Unable to determine whether there was actual physical contact.
The pair of Black-naped Orioles continued to mob and harass the buzzard for probably four or five times (above) before the honey-buzzard decided that enough was enough.
Raising its wings high into the air, it took off from its perch to find peace elsewhere and to escape from the orioles’ mobbing (above).
Kwong Wai Chong
29th April 2013