white plumed honeyeater bashing insect

To: "birding aus" <>
Subject: white plumed honeyeater bashing insect
From: "Tim Murphy" <>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2007 10:21:15 +1000
It is rather important to make sure your prey is dead before you eat it,
especially if it can sting or bite.

I had the good fortune to spend a couple of days at a small resort on an
island off Bougainville Island in PNG. The resort owner had two tame but
free flying Papuan Hornbills. These are large birds and used to fly into the
bar, which caused some consternation if you were trying to come out with a
drink in your hand.

I remember sitting at a table and watching one of the hornbills come to the
table and very daintily steal ice from a lady's gin and tonic. The lady had
a red shoulder bag with a long tubular strap. The hornbill then carefully
bit down on the entire length of the strap at intervals of about one cm. I
assumed that it thought that it was a snake and was making sure that it was

Not really apropos of the topic, but when you are a beak length from a
Papuan Hornbill one can see that they have beautifully marked eyes that
looked like that they had applied eye makeup.

Tim Murphy

PS. This was before the up rising - I wonder what happened to the birds (and
the resort).

-----Original Message-----
 Behalf Of Wendy
Sent: Wednesday, 14 March 2007 10:31 PM
To: birding aus
Subject: white plumed honeyeater bashing insect

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