Sachin Rai

 

Malabar Pied Hornbill © Sachin Rai

Malabar Pied Hornbill
(Anthracoceros coronatus)

 

 

Image details
1/ 2000 sec, f/5.6; E/V -1/3; ISO 200
Canon 20D, Canon 100-400IS
Location: 
Date: 18 Feb 2007

Shoot details
Just before the breeding season, when flocks of hornbills congregate to feed, two males randomly lock their beaks for a split second in mid-air, during their flight. They neither exchange food material nor do they fight. Scientific papers describe this behaviour as 'Billing'. These two birds were seen flying one above the other when they suddenly changed their stance, twisted and locked their beaks before they flew off again. The entire drama did not last for more than a second.

Species details
Malabar Pied Hornbills range from southern to south-eastern India and can also be found in Sri Lanka.  This big (92cm) hornbill affects deciduous forests and groves and can often be found in large flocks. Males are told by their dark eye-skin. Habitat shrinkage and hunting have reduced numbers putting the species under survival pressure.

A Birds of India presentation

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