Oriental Pied Hornbill picky about snail

on 2nd October 2018

“While on my way to Hide 1D from the Main Bridge of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, spotted this Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) caught an african snail. Like other hornbills, as their bill is much longer than other birds, they can’t manipulate their food with their tongue. So they have to toss the food caught directly into their throat (below).

“Seeing an Oriental Pied Hornbilll on the ground is uncommon and getting to see this male hornbill catch the prey on the ground is even epic.

“After the 1st toss (above), the hornbill managed to move the snail to the middle of his bill (below).

“The hornbill continued to jerk his head and move the snail further in (below).

“The hornbill crushed the shell of the snail in the process. Not sure if this is by purpose to de-shell it or accidentally (below).

“The hornbill repeated the tossing process with the half ‘naked’ snail (below).

“The hornbill missed the snail and it fell off it’s grip (above).

“The hornbill picked it up again and I didn’t realise it was a different snail until I took a closer look while processing the photos (above).

“This time round, the hornbill decided to go somewhere else to enjoy his meal and left me with one big question unanswered (below). Did the hornbill dropped the half ‘naked’ snail on purpose or accidentally? Could it be the hornbill become picky when food was abundant?”

Samson Tan
20th September 2018

Note: This was first posted HERE on 20th September 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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