Saturday 23 March 2019

Langkawi's Oriental Pied Hornbill Nest Feeding

This year has been a blessed year for me to witness two species Hornbills attending to their nests. All Hornbills in Malaysia nest in tree cavities especially matured or old trees. So far in Langkawi, I have only witnessed Great Hornbill Buceros bircorni nesting but yet to witness the nest of Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirotris until this year.  

Saiful came running towards our group with this glee and excitement on his face, "Hornbill feeding!". His infectious excitement got me running too. My instant thought was a Great Hornbill? I quickly signalled to the group to follow Saiful. This male Oriental Pied Hornbill was still passing the food into the tree cavity when we arrived. I quickly pulled out my camera to capture this on video. Please excuse me for the shake as I didn't quite recover from the excitement yet. 

This group of 10-year old students from Singapore together with their teachers had a less than one minute opportunity to witness this. I was with this group as their guide and they were here on Langkawi to learn about our diverse natural habitats. This was the Rainforest section on their second day of this trip. Their logistics were organised by Langkawi Canopy Adventures in mid of March. 

The period from February to April are crucial months for the adult Great Hornbills and Oriental Pied Hornbills tending to the nest especially the male with his faithful duty as a Dad to feed Mum and chick. 

As I didn't manage to fully observe the Oriental Pied Hornbill nesting, I am sharing this post from Singapore Bird Ecology Group which has video-monitor on their Oriental Pied Hornbill nesting at Pulau Ubin, Singapore. Based on their data, the breeding period at Pulau Ubin is almost similar as ours here in Langkawi. It takes almost three months (78-85 days) from the tree cavity sealing stage to the emerging of the adult female and chicks fledging. As reported, all the chicks fledged at the same time as the adult female broke out of the cavity in one cycle. While a Great Hornbill will take at least another month longer to complete the successful breeding cycle. The adult Great Hornbill female will break out of the cavity first and reseal while the chick is still inside.

Click here for the report on Singapore's Oriental Pied Hornbill breeding cycle.

Since I didn't have any shot of a newly fledged Oriental Pied Hornbill, here is a miniature one from my guest, Khai Ling.

A gift of appreciation from my kayaking guest, Khai Ling. Thank you!
Oriental Pied Hornbills: Stages in its breeding cycle, (2009, April 13),