Male Black Hornbill Anthracoceros malayanus feeding on ripe  Ficus parietalis figs at Robert Ong’s Sepilok B&B,  next to the Rainforest Discovery Centre, Sandakan, Sabah.

There are a number of fig trees in the gardens of the Sepilok B & B which  fruit regularly attracting hordes of hornbills, green pigeons and bulbuls. The birds arrive early  (before dawn) to feed and unless it is raining most of the ripe figs are gone by 8.00 am.

All photos in this article are by Peter Ericsson

Female Pied Hornbill in F parietalis P Ericsson - Copy.jpg
Female Pied Hornbill Anthacoceros albirostris at the Sepilok B & B
Glossy Starling on F parietalis at Sepilok Peter E.IMG_9539sm[1].jpg
Asian Glossy Starling Aplonis panayensis feeding on Ficus parietalis . Note that whilst the hornbills can swallow Ficus parietalis figs whole, smaller birds such as starlings and bulbuls have to wait until the figs become over-ripe before they can peck bits of  soft flesh from the figs. This means that hornbills (long distance dispersers) get first pickings  in comparison with latecomer bulbuls and starlings which are short distance dispersers. Thus Bornean figs have evolved so that the largest figs are dispersed by the longest  distance dispersers
Red-eyed Bulbul on F parietalis Peter E.jpg
Red-eyed Brown Bulbul Pycnonotus brunneus feeding on ripe Ficus parientalis figs in the Sepilok B&B gardens, Sandakan.
Red-eyed bulbul on Ficus parietalis P Ericsson.jpg
Red-eyed Brown Bulbul Pycnonotus brunneus 
Yellow-vented bulbul on F parietalis Peter E .jpg
Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier 

Sepilokj B & B IMG_7035.jpg