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Oriental Pied Hornbill taking a sand bath

on 1st August 2018

Cecily Chia came across a pair of Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) at Pasir Ris Park with the female taking a sand bath. She managed to video them, keeping low so as not to alarm them. However, lighting became poor at that angle so she stood up again to continue to video their activities using her hand phone.

Like all birds, the Oriental Pied Hornbill maintains its feathers regularly – see HERE. The most common method encountered are preening and sunbathing.

Other methods of feather maintenance include water bathing, leaf bath and anting.

Sand or dust bathing – fluffing the feathers while stirring up the sand in a shallow depression is also common, documented in many birds like Little Green Bee-eaters (Merops orientalis), Barred Buttonquail (Turnix suscitator), Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus) and Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus).

However, sand bathing is rarely encountered and documented in a large bird like the Oriental Pied Hornbill. This is BESG’s first.

Cecily Chia
Singapore
24th July 2018

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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