Johnny Wee’s image of a male Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) passing an egg to a female inside an active nest is a rare documentation of such behaviour (below).
Hornbills regularly raid nests of other birds to steal eggs LINK or young chicks LINK. Once an egg is obtained and clamped delicately but securely between the tips of the mandibles, it will have to fly it to the nest and carefully pass it to the female inside.
There is only a narrow slit for the male to pass the egg to the hungry female inside the nest – see HERE.
In the case of fruits, the male can easily store many within its crop and regurgitate one by one to pass them to the female inside the nest (above).
In addition to figs and other fruits, it will bring animal foods like lizards, insects, etc. LINK, as the chicks need a constant supply of protein.
28th January 2017