Serious birds

Borneo is well-known for its spectacular hornbills. There are 8 species found on the island. They are unique in that most have large casques on their bills which are thought to amplify the birds calls. The male on the right has larger beak and casque. But probably the most extraordinary feature of these birds is their breeding habits. After mating the female lays her eggs in a tree hollow before the entrance is all but sealed with mud with female and her developing brood trapped inside. She and the subsequent chicks remain trapped for around 2 months and fed by the male through a very narrow opening. It is thought that this extraordinary behaviour is to protect the female and her chicks. Pretty amazing eh?

The 2 hornbills in this picture were such posers. They remained on this bare branch overhanging a river for about 10 minutes. I took about 300 images of them. It was hard to pick favourites from that lot! But I do like this one.

~ by davidbettini on September 2, 2010.

13 Responses to “Serious birds”

  1. Lovely shot Dave, The posing is spot on. Love it.

    You are probably already aware of this site but not it’s worth checking out.

    Cheers Pete.

    • Cheers Pete. Yea I heard about wing and a prayer on ABC radio today! Fingers crossed for the Carnaby’s eh? I reckon I love them more than even the spectacular hornbills!

  2. Great shot Dave, you really captured a great pose here. What gorgeous birds!

    • I can’t find your email address anywhere, so I’ll just post it here, I did a video of my Borneo trip I just finished cutting, here’s the link, hope you’re ok with me posting it here: I’ll be on my blog as well one of the next days.

      • Cheers Flemming. These hornbills were a photographers dream! Great posers and perfect light. I only wish the background could have been a bit more interesting.

        I’ve just checked out your Borneo video. Breathtaking work mate! Really makes me want to check out other parts of the island.


  3. Really Nice image Dave, spot on. What’s wrong with the background? There’s nothing to distract you from the birds!!

    • Yea I know Jamie but believe it or not these birds were actually in the jungle! And this image doesn’t reflect that. But of course you are right – a plain blue sky is better than a cluttered background.

  4. sweet as always David. You get great wildlife shots.

  5. Top image Dave, It looks like they are having a great conversation and that he is real happy and proud. Thanks for the info on them as well – most interesting. You gotta love nature ! 🙂


  6. That story is almost as weird as guys sitting around for hours waiting to take a photo of a bird. Sorry cheap shot:)

  7. Awesome animals, and great shot Dave.

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