Male Oriental Pied Hornbill brought an egg for the breeding female

posted in: Hornbills, Nesting | 0

Johnny Wee’s image of a male Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) passing an egg to a female inside an active nest is a rare documentation of such behaviour (below).

OPH-egg at nest [JWee] 1

Hornbills regularly raid nests of other birds to steal eggs LINK or young chicks LINK. Once an egg is obtained and clamped delicately but securely between the tips of the mandibles, it will have to fly it to the nest and carefully pass it to the female inside.

There is only a narrow slit for the male to pass the egg to the hungry female inside the nest – see HERE.

OPH-fr at nest [JWee]

In the case of fruits, the male can easily store many within its crop and regurgitate one by one to pass them to the female inside the nest (above).

In addition to figs and other fruits, it will bring animal foods like lizards, insects, etc. LINK, as the chicks need a constant supply of protein.

Johnny Wee
28th January 2017

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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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