SINGAPORE - In March, Jurong Bird Park successfully incubated and hatched three Oriental Pied Hornbill eggs - rescued from Pulau Ubin by NParks officers - a first in the world.
In exchange for the three hatchlings, Jurong Bird Park released three other hornbills onto Pulau Ubin last Wednesday.
NParks and Jurong Bird Park have jointly built on the island special nests with observatory equipment to better study the hornbills and facilitate its breeding patterns.
The bird has a unique breeding method: the female seals herself in the nest, leaving a tiny slit through which her male counterpart feeds her food.
She remains sealed in for up to three months, until her fledgings are ready to leave the nest.
Birds released are identified by the unique numbers embedded onto microchips injected into their pectoral muscles.
FIELD OF VISION
Due to the enormous bill, hornbills see with a very distant binocular vision and has a large blind area in front.
The hornbill has a well-developed preen gland, which is found at the base of its tail.
The casque is tinted by the oil secreted by the gland when the hornbill rubs its casque against it.
DISTRIBUTION OF ORIENTAL PIED HORNBILLS
Sixty of them can be found on Pulau Ubin and up to 40 on the mainland.
AT THE BREEDING AND RESEARCH CENTRE
1 INCUBATION ROOM
Eggs are kept warm in special incubators, equipped with automatic egg turners to keep the temperature and humidity of each egg constant.
Upon hatching, the chicks are housed in brooders, a temperature and humiditycontrolled environment, to keep them safe and warm.
3 WEANING ROOM
From the brooders, chicks move on to the Weaning Room when they are fully grown to help them acclimatise to the environment.
4 THE GROWING UP YEARS
It will take three years or more Oriental Pied Hornbills to be released into Pulau Ubin, their natural habitat.