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Hornbill Social Dust Bath

Nature Watch Magazine

The feature article, “Hornbill Social Dust Bath” for Nature Watch Magazine is about the social behaviour of Oriental Pied Hornbills in Singapore. Tim Plowden’s writing is illustrated by his wildlife photographs. The photo story focuses on the social interactions of a flock of hornbills that frequent Pasir Ris Park. Tim recounts his observations of a flock of 20 birds taking a social dust bath in the sand pit of a playground. Supplementary materials include identification tips for male, female and juvenile hornbills.

Members of a flock of oriental pied hornbills indulge in a social dust bath in a sandpit at a children's playground
Hornbill Social Dust Bath
Hornbill Social Dust Bath
Hornbill Social Dust Bath
Hornbill Social Dust Bath

Dust bathing appears to take place in the late afternoon and the hornbills will return to the same dusting spot at the main playground which has space for the entire flock to wallow and suitable sand for dusting. Not all the flock will dust at the same time; some wait nearby or are preoccupied with social play. Dust bathing is not always a communal affair for the flock. Smaller family groups can be found at smaller dust baths in the park. Smaller dust baths are typically temporary in nature – either areas of dusty soil created by dry weather or loose sand left by maintenance work in the park.

Nature Watch Magazine - Nature Society (Singapore) - April 2019

Article Details

Publication Title: Nature Watch Magazine

Edition: Vol 27 No.2 Apr – Jun 2019

Format: Writing, Photography, Video

Theme: Wildlife Behaviour

Location: Singapore

Species: Oriental Pied Hornbill

Keywords: Oriental Pied Hornbill, Social Interaction, Flock, Singapore

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