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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Hornbill Project Singapore

Hornbill Project Singapore

The Hornbill Project Singapore is the brainchild of French naturalist, Marc Cremades of the Winged Migration fame. The ides came two years ago when he visited Pulau Ubin with long-time local birder, Prof Ng Soon Chye.

Much is known about these large and wonderful birds but relatively little is known about the breeding behaviour. We know that the female is confined inside a tree cavity during egg incubation and the development of the nestlings. During this 6-7 weeks, the male bird regularly and faithfully brings food to feed his mate and later the nestlings as well. Only when the nestlings are ready to fledge will the seal be broken. However, next to nothing is known what happens inside the sealed nest.

The project is using infrared video cameras to monitor activities inside and outside the nests. Male birds will be tagged with a miniaturised GPS to track their movements. A temperature gauge placed inside the nest will study the temperature fluctuations. A gas sampling system has also been installed in the nest cavity.

So far, five females have already been installed inside their nest cavities and at least one has laid a clutch of eggs. The project has found that as soon as the female is installed inside the nest, she sheds her rectrix and remex feathers.

Local partners of the project include National Parks Board, Jurong Bird Park, National University of Singapore, National Technological University and the BESGroup of the Nature Society (Singapore). International partners include ornithologists and scientists from France and Thailand.

As the Bird Ecology Study Group is directly involved in this hornbill project, we are monitoring sightings of these birds on mainland Singapore. Information on dates; number of birds; whether male, female or juvenile; locations and time of sightings can be sent to me at This information would come in useful when we plot the flight range of these hornbills.

We are grateful to the many who have sent in sightings on the Oriental Pied Hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris convexus)as well as the Great (Buceros bicornis) and Rhinoceros (B. rhinoceros) Hornbills.

Read the more detailed account of the project in the latest issue of Asian Geographic (No. 35 Issue 2/2006).

Image comes from the title page of the hornbill article in Asian Geographic.

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At 7:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have a pair of Oriental Pied Hornbills currently nesting at Tanglin Park in Singapore!

At 4:27 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have seen 3 orientals around the Hua Guan Road while walking my dog. Have seen them twice (although all 3 at the same place only once).

At 8:42 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have just had a pair of Hornbills visiting Pandan Valley this morning, not sure which variety though.

At 7:44 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sighted 2 individuals (oriental pied hornbills ?)outside my 13th floor apartment:

Date: 15 Nov 2009
Time: ~ 8:30 am
Location: 369 Holland Road, Allsworth Park Apartments

At 1:28 am, Blogger Unknown said...

I just saw a pair of hornbills perch on the lamp post while driving on the CTE near the Braddell exit this afternoon.. Wow!

4 March 2009

At 10:27 am, Blogger Emlyn Ee said...

My name is Emlyn Ee. I am a primary 3 student. I am now doing my school assignment. I need to find 4 types of birds and their flying speeds. Anyone can help me for this? Thks.

At 9:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A pair visiting early morning near Blk 404 Serangoov Ave 1.

At 9:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A pair recently visiting Blk 404/405 Serangoon Ave 1, perching on the TV antenna before flying off. Have picture, will share if interested. :-)

At 12:58 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

saw 1 today at wilkie road.

At 6:01 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

3 birds often sitting in the tree opposite my balcony facing Mount Emily Parc

At 9:59 am, Blogger guti said...

seen one flying at Youngberg terrace forested area,not sure which species.

At 9:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have two oriental pied hornbills that have been sitting on our balcony in Nassim Hill for the last few weeks in the mornings and early evenings. After which they return to flying around the trees in our gardens.

The male bird is not scared of us at all and seems fascinated by our young daughter standing at the window looking out. We can even open the balcony door and stand 2 metres from him and he won't fly away.

They are spectacular birds!

At 6:39 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, a pair of hornbills now hanging out by the box you placed at 5 and 6 Whitchurch Road, at last! Exciting : )


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