Oriental Pied Hornbill – courtship feeding, Morinda citrifolia fruit

posted in: Courtship-Mating, Feeding-plants | 2

“I was out testing a news lens I had loaned, the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 VC. I choose to test it in the ‘worst’ possible setting – 7.30am on a gloom post rain morning, under some trees. I was trying to see if it could match the Nikon AF-S 80-400mm ED VR I have using recently.

“I came across a pair of Oriental Pied Hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris convexus) feeding on the fruit of the Morinda citrifolia (Great Morinda, Indian Mulberry, Noni, Mengkudu in Malaysia). Although both members of the pair were feeding, the male was also doing courtship feeding. What was unusual to me was that the male was using a regurgitation technique to do the courtship feeding.

“While food regurgitation is well documented for nesting birds, I have not seen males do this at courtship. I saw the male first swallow some fruit and then later regurgitated two fruits (whole) to feed the female. Above is a composite image of the male swallowing a Morinda citrifolia fruit.

“Above shows courtship feeding from regurgitated food, female on left.

“The female tossing fruit to reposition before swallowing, female on left (above).

“Footnote: Needless to say the lens performed remarkably well, as recent reviews have suggested.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
24th September 2014

Location: Malim Nawar, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Rural community, secondary growth

Follow 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.

2 Responses

  1. Bird Ecology Study Group Rock Pigeon “kissing”

    […] What is unusual in Yen Fook’s observation is that immediately after “kissing” one bird mounted the other and copulated with it. In such a case this would be considered courtship feeding where the male offers a morsel to the female prior to copulation LINK. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.