A flock of six Oriental Pied Hornbills

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“It was 5 minutes before the sunset time of 7.19 pm on 30th January 2015. A flock of five to six birds quietly emerged from the dark canopy of a fruiting Sea Apple (Syzygium grande) in my condominium. One by one they flew to a nearby Yellow Flame (Peltophorum pterocarpum) tree.

“They exhibited an unfamiliar flying pattern – alternating between flapping the wings gracefully and gliding – which I have not seen before.

“The birds were identified quickly as Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) (above).

“Before I had the time to locate the other birds, they had flown away to another fruiting Sea Apple just behind the Yellow Flame.

“In the dark canopy of the Sea Apple, it was almost impossible to find them. I took a blind shot and was pleasantly surprised that, in spite of the poor quality, I manage to capture three of them in the image (above).

“Just as quickly, they left one by one silently in the direction of Ang Mo Kio – Bishan Park. Apparently they had their fill of the ripe Sea Apple fruit.

“In a recent post LINK, Lee Chiu San asserted that ‘Hornbills would become established in the Bukit Timah, Bukit Batok and Clementi area.’

“This encounter of mine with the Oriental Pied Hornbills, together with previous ones about nine months back LINK, shows that these hornbills have also established themselves in the Upper Thomson/Sin Ming area.”

Sun Chong Hong
Singapore
8th February 2015

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