Hornbill spotted grabbing & shaking smaller bird at Pasir Ris Park

Hornbills are omnivorous.

Ashley Tan | November 17, 2020, 04:48 PM

A large Oriental Pied Hornbill was spotted recently by a nature lover apparently toying with a smaller bird.

Shaking smaller bird

The photo was taken by a Mothership reader on Nov. 15 when she was birdwatching at Pasir Ris Park.

She suddenly heard some noise coming from the trees, when she spotted five hornbills flying around.

One of the hornbills was carrying something yellow in its beak. The reader subsequently realised that it was actually another bird — a Black-naped Oriole.

According to her, the hornbill was "shaking the poor bird as it went".

However, she left before ascertaining if the hornbill ate or released the smaller bird in the end.

Here's a photo of the incident, showing the oriole dangling upside down from the hornbill's beak.

Photo from Mothership reader

Omnivorous creatures

Hornbills are certainly pretty to look at, and a sizeable population now exists in Singapore after the reintroduction of a pair of captive-bred individuals to the wild in 2008.

Now, they are not an uncommon sight, even at urban areas.

In 2018, a viral video of a hornbill prying open a bird cage and devouring the small songbird within shocked many.

This however, is not out of the norm for the species.

Hornbills are omnivorous, and while they mostly munch on fruits like figs, they also hunt small animals like snakes, baby birds, eggs and lizards.

Other hornbill shenanigans

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Top photo from Mothership reader