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Asian Openbill – intraspecific aggression

on 28th April 2019

“I have mentioned aggression between Asian Openbills (Anastomus oscitans) in the past (August 2013) but have observed this activity more frequently since. Asian Openbills are noted to have aggressive behaviour at nesting sites but what I have observed intermittently is intraspecific aggressive interaction at feeding sites. One bird will attack another, often gripping the beak of the other bird firmly in its own with an ensuing struggle. There is also some amount of open-wing threatening behaviour. There is hardly any associated vocal responses (Asian Openbills have an absence of syrinx muscles, hence vocalisation is minimal). On this occasion I saw 4 episodes within 10 minutes, interspersed with feeding. Other birds around the pair in conflict appeared to disregard the activity. I do not yet understand what this social behaviour between Asian Openbills implies but suspect that it relates to feeding.

“A video recording of some episodes here:

“A video grab of the action posted at the top.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
25th April 2019

Location: Malim Nawar Wetlands, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Extensive ex-tin mining area with pond/lakes, wetlands, fish farming

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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