Oriental Pied Hornbill Family

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“Some good news to share. My old friend, the male Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) (above) that has a condition on his left eye LINK, has successfully raised two offspring with his mate (below). Way back in January 2011, this pair was seen prospecting for a nesting cavity. Not sure whether they have any success then but surely happy to learn that they are successful now.

“This family of four was first spotted on 26th July 2014. They were foraging in dense mangrove forest before coming out into more open views at the park. I followed them and found my old friend with his daughter investigating a cavity in a tree trunk (below). I judged this juvenile to be a female by its ‘lipstick’ – the reddish marking that can be seen at the base of its lower mandible. They were there for about a minute and the father was seen inserting his huge mandibles inside the dark crevice.

“The father then flew off with the daughter following closely behind him. The mother then took over to investigate the cavity (below). Are they prospecting for a new nest? The other juvenile stayed high in the tree and did not approach the cavity. From its lack of ‘lipstick’, this juvenile would most probably a male.

“One week later, I have the fortune to spot the family again. Not only that, I was treated to a display of interlocking of bills by the two juveniles (below). Their bills were engaged three times with each lasting a few seconds. The final time that the bills were locked, the male appeared to be pulled up by the female. When their bills finally disengaged, the female flew off; leaving the male on the tree. The juvenile male then preened himself.

“Later, a seed was regurgitated out from the throat of this juvenile. It was held momentarily at the tip of its huge bill before it was dropped below.”

Kwong Wai Chong
3rd August 2014

5 Responses

  1. Murray smith

    We saw adults plus 3 juveniles in Botanical Garden 5pm 5th August.

  2. YC

    These hornbills are becoming commoner nowadays, what with the placement of artificial nesting boxes in many locations all over the island.

  3. Edna

    These are great photos! I saw a family as well while visiting Singapore. It was amazing!

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