Species: A. albirostris
Binomial name Anthracoceros albirostris
(Shaw & Nodder, 1807)
The Oriental pied-hornbills on Pulau Ubin are the only truly wild hornbills found on Singapore. Unlike most other hornbills, Oriental pied-hornbills can be found outside primary rainforests and may visit inhabited areas to feed on fruit. But they still depend on large living trees for nesting sites.
Big Bill: The hornbill’s trademark is its large, long bill. The bill, however, is not as heavy as it appears. It is not made of solid bone but of a honeycombed tissue. An adult Oriental pied-hornbill has a casque (a knob on top of the bill) which is yellow-white. The male has a larger casque with few black marks, while the female has a smaller casque with more black marks. The Oriental pied-hornbill is basically a black-and-white bird: mostly black with a white belly and thighs, and white accents around the eye, on the wing tips and tail.
Hornbill Food: Hornbills eat mainly fruit, but they also take insects and small animals including reptiles, birds and mammals. Oriental pied-hornbills often forage in pairs or small groups, often rather quietly for such large birds. When they do call, it is harsh and penetrating and has been described as a loud, staccato cackling; or a yak-yak-yak; and even as the cackling of a witch on a broomstick! They fly rather awkwardly.
Sealed with Love: Oriental pied-hornbills breed on Pulau Ubin, nesting in a suitable hole in a tall tree. The breeding pair seals the female inside the hole with a plaster of mud and fibres. The male gathers and delivers earth to the female, which seals herself inside the hole. A narrow slit is left open so he can feed her and the chicks. He brings them mostly fruits, insects, crabs and lizards, and sometimes, smaller birds. This remarkable behaviour is believed to deter large predators.
Role in the habitat: The Oriental pied-hornbill plays an important role in the health of the forest as it disperses seeds that are too big for smaller birds to eat.
Human uses: In Sarawak, hornbills are hunted for their meat and feathers. The Helmeted hornbill (Buceros vigil) is hunted for its bill which is solid and can be carved like ivory. The hornbill is Sarawak’s state bird.
Status and threats: Hornbills are no longer seen on mainland Singapore. The Oriental pied-hornbills on Pulau Ubin are considered visitors from Malaysia which later started breeding on the island. Two other hornbills were once recorded in Singapore but are now no longer found: The Rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros) and the Helmeted hornbill (Buceros vigil).
I took the photograph in pulau ubin, Singapore, you can reach this place by using public transport BUS no, the way I took is, I took MRT to kembangan station or you can go to Eunos station (green line) then take SBS bus no 2. you can check the timetable here. After arrive in changi village you take the bamboo boat, maximum is about 12 passangers, just wait there, the boat man will guide you. The cost per person is S$2.5 (2008). In Pulau ubin you can rent the bycicle to go around or walk, I prefer walk because I can observe more. It’s quite easy to see this oriental hornbill here, but you need patient and good eyes to see them.
Photo Gallery: Oriental Pied-hornbill
Species: G. leucolophus
Binomial name Garrulax leucolophus
The White-crested Laughingthrush, Garrulax leucolophus is an Old World babbler. The Old World babblers are a large family of Old World passerine birds characterised by soft fluffy plumage. These are birds of tropical areas, with the greatest variety in southeast Asia.
I took the photo in Bukit Batok, June 2008. Singapore, There’s many of them observe the food on the ground floor and they also not really afraid of human.
Photo Gallery: White-crested Laughingthrush
Species: T. chloris
Binomial name Todiramphus chloris
Medium (24cm); turquoise head and upperparts; broad white collar bordered by narrow black line; underparts white;
back varies from greenish-blue to turquoise;
collared kingfisher (lighter blue)
feet black; bill- maxilla black, mandible dirty white.
Adult: As above. In a mated pair, the male tends to be slightly more blue, while the female tends to be more green.
Juvenile: Duller; broader black collar margin; fine black scalloping across the breast.
Call: Described as variable laughing calls from a soft quiet chuckle to harsh loud maniacal kek-kek, kek-kek. At rest, has a gentle chup-kree.
In flight: Uniform turquoise upperparts.
The Collared Kingfisher is 22 to 29 cm long and weighs 51 to 90 grams. It varies from blue to green above while the underparts can be white or buff. There is a white collar around the neck, giving the birds its name. Some races have a white or buff stripe over the eye while others have a white spot between the eye and bill. There may be a black stripe through the eye. The large bill is black with a pale yellow base to the lower mandible.
Females tend to be greener than the males. Immature birds are duller than the adults with dark scaly markings on the neck and breast.
It has a variety of calls which vary geographically. The most typical call is loud, harsh and metallic and is repeated several times.
Habitat and range
SE Queensland, Australia. Singapore
It is most commonly found in coastal areas, particularly in mangrove swamps. It also inhabits farmland, open woodland, grassland and gardens. In some parts of its range, especially on islands, it can be seen further inland, ranging into forest or into mountain areas. Birds often perch conspicuously on wires, rocks or bare branches.
The most westerly subspecies is T. c. abyssinica of north-east Africa which is found in patches of mangroves in Eritrea and has also been recorded from Sudan and Somalia. Further east in Arabia is the endangered race T. c. kalbaensis with a population of 55 pairs or less; these are almost entirely restricted to Khor Kalba in the United Arab Emirates but breeding has also occurred recently at Khor Shinass in Oman. Further subspecies occur locally around the coasts of India and Bangladesh and on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In Southeast Asia and Indonesia the species is widespread and common, occurring far inland in some regions. It once more becomes a mainly coastal species in New Guinea and in northern Australia where it occurs from Shark Bay, Western Australia around to north-east New South Wales. On the Pacific islands it is usually common in a variety of coastal and inland habitats with various subspecies present on the Bismarck Archipelago, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, American Samoa, Palau and the Northern Marianas.
Small crabs are the favoured food in coastal regions but a wide variety of other animals are eaten including insects, worms, snails, shrimps, frogs, lizards and small fish. The bird perches almost motionless for long periods waiting for prey. When it spots something it dives down to catch it and then flies back to the perch where larger items are smashed against the branch to subdue them. Any indigestible remains are regurgitated as pellets.
The nest is a hole, either a natural tree hole or a burrow excavated by the birds themselves in a rotten tree, termite mound or earth bank. They will also occupy old woodpecker holes. Two to seven rounded whitish eggs are laid directly on the floor of the burrow with no nest material used. Both parents take part in incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks. The young birds leave the nest about 44 days after hatching. Two broods are often raised in a year.
The Photos was taken in Changi Village, Punggol, Alexandra Hospital. (Singapore) on March-July 2008.
Photo Gallery: White-Collared Kingfisher