Video update 1: A jar of hornbills

Welcome to the first video footage posted by Rimba, which is just the first of many!

We won’t be uploading singular videos from the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor, as we’re in the midst of compiling them into a video montage highlighting the importance of the corridor and what needs to be done to save it (more on that in the near future).

Instead, we’re bringing you our latest video hot off the video-trap. This clip features an Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) family consisting of Dad, Mom and kid (the loud chirping in the background is the kid). The dad goes out to fetch food for the mom and kid every day, both of whom are sealed within an earthen jar (locally known as ‘tempayan’ in Malay). Hornbills usually nest in tree hollows, but occasionally find ready-made homes such as clay jars to make their nests.

Our friend Anuar McAfee, who is a keen birder and the only person we know who has spotted 9 hornbill species in one day in Kenyir, introduced this location to us and we discussed the possibility of setting up a video-trap to document their behaviour. So we lent him a couple of Bushnell cameras (Thanks Ahimsa!) that were lying around the field house, and this is the report from Anuar so far:

“We first set the camera trap by the hornbill nest May 2, 2012. After making setting adjustments and repositioning the camera several times, we  are now able to record most, if not all of the feeding times throughout the day. At night, there appears to be no activity whatsoever, although the camera records several times overnight when a mouse is near the nest entrance.  Besides a mixture of fruit, we have seen bats, brought almost daily, frogs, eggs, a variety of insects, and even a clump of dry dirt that was broken up by the female. The jar has been used as a nest for the past 10 years. The jar is located near an abandoned village house near Kuala Terengganu. The owners of the house passed away in 2009, but their son visits the orchards around the house regularly. He estimated the hornbills began nesting in early March 2012. I visited the nest site late February, 2012, and it was empty. With a nesting cycle of between 79-89 days, we can expect the young bird inside to fledge later this month.”

With this footage, we aim to publish a short paper describing this nesting behaviour. Stay tuned for a video (hopefully) showing the young emerging from this clay jar!

UPDATE 23 May: Anuar has informed us that there are actually two kids in there with Mom!

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One thought on “Video update 1: A jar of hornbills

  1. Pingback: Video update 2: Empty nest syndrome «

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