Hungry hornbill yanks songbird from cage, ruffles netizens’ feathers

Love them or hate them — pet birds have been singing (and waking us up in the morning) from their cages in Singapore.

One such songbird met an untimely end in the beak of a hungry hornbill.

In a video clip circulating on social media since Sunday (April 4), the hornbill was seen perching on the railing of the common corridor of an HDB block before hopping onto one of several birdcages hung outside a flat, and yanking the songbird out with its beak.

Facebook/Singapore Wildlife Sightings

The smaller bird was seen flapping its free wing, sending loose feathers fluttering in the air. It stopped moving moments later.

“Where’s the owner?” the woman recording the clip asked.

After viewing the video, a barrage of comments poured in, asking why the person filming did not stop the “brutal” act by chasing away the hornbill or alerting the songbird’s owner so they could save their pet.

Others pointed out the fact that the large bird is an omnivore that feeds on both fruits and animals.

The oriental pied hornbill, native to Singapore, has a diet that comprises figs, palms, bananas, papaya, tamarind, and is supplemented by small birds, eggs, lizards, snakes, bats and squirrels.

As its population grows, there have been increasing reports of these birds spotted near human dwellings in recent years.

Last December, a pair of hornbills flew into a Pasir Ris flat and wreaked havoc within.

Hungry hornbill outside Singapore flat shocks internet by snatching small bird from cage to eat – RED GROUP

Despite the homeowners’ attempts at chasing them out, the birds stayed for 90 minutes and defaecated all over the house before they finally took off.

That same month, NParks investigated a man after he was spotted feeding hornbills pieces of banana at Loyang Way Food Village.

Those who encounter these birds should keep a safe distance and refrain from feeding them, wildlife experts advised, explaining that feeling the animals may lead them to venture into urban areas for food.

Under the Wildlife Act, a person caught feeding wildlife may be fined up to $5,000, and repeat offenders may be fined up to $10,000.

By : Lam Min Lee – ASIAONE

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