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Northern Red-billed Hornbill

Northern Red-billed Hornbill
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-22
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-01-05 8:44
Viewed: 5936
Points: 64
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This Northern Red-billed Hornbill was searching for food by digging a hole in the ground.

Red-billed Hornbill (Tockus erythrorhynchus) is a species of hornbill found in savanna and woodland of sub-Saharan Africa. It is sometimes split into five species, the Northern Red-billed Hornbill (T. erythrorhynchus), Western Red-billed Hornbill (T. kempi), Tanzania Red-billed Hornbill (T. ruahae), Southern Red-billed Hornbill (T. rufirostris) and Damara Red-billed Hornbill (T. damarensis), but at present most authorities considered them all to be subspecies of a single species.

The Red-billed Hornbill has a black stripe on the back of its head.
This species has mainly whitish underparts and head and grey upperparts. It has a long tail and a long curved red bill which lacks a casque. Sexes are similar, but the female has a smaller bill. It is a large bird, at 42cm in length, but is one of the smaller hornbills.

During incubation, the female lays three to six white eggs in a tree hole, which is blocked off with a plaster of mud, droppings and fruit pulp. There is only one narrow aperture, just big enough for the male to transfer food to the mother and the chicks.
When the chicks and the female are too big to fit in the nest, the mother breaks out and rebuilds the wall, then both parents feed the chicks.

This species is omnivorous, taking insects fruit and seeds. It feeds mainly on the ground and will form flocks outside the breeding season.

This conspicuous bird also advertises its presence with its noisy accelerating tok-tok-tok-toktoktok call.
Source: Wikipedia

valy67, Dis. Ac., uleko, Argus, haraprasan, zulfu, jaycee, eqshannon, nglen, boreocypriensis, flashpoint, darwin, ferranjlloret, Alex99, eng55, crs, jconceicao, efsus, maurydv, jeanpaul, xTauruSx, siggi, CeltickRanger, Adanac has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Peter !
Beautiful bird, I loive its big red beak. Nice details, natural colors, beautiful composition and POV, and an interesting note. It's nice to have caught him while he was searching food under the earth. Very well done !

Hallo Peter,

alweer een goede opname met een lage pov van de Neushoornvogel.
Mooie kleuren ook.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-01-05 9:26]

Hello Peter,
I remember seeing this Hornbill digging for food in the ground in Gambia. It was lovely to watch and your capture shows its behaviour very nicely. Excellent details and colours of this lovely bird!
Many thanks and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2009-01-05 9:37]

merhaba peter
beautiful and impressive bird again
good capture with nice eye contact
i like colours, POV and sharpness

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-01-05 9:39]

Hello Peter,
An excellent portrait of the Northern Red Hornbill taken from a great low POV with fine sharpness and colours. This shot shows what we have often seen the W. African subspecies doing: looking for insects on the groung and scraping the ground with its feet.
TFS this fine image,
Best regards,

Hi Peter,
A nice capture of this beautiful hornbill. Very well composed with sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-01-05 10:36]

Hello peter
great shot of this hornbill. Nice composition.
TFS and G's,

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-01-05 10:38]

Hi Peter,

He looks so proud of the hole he has dug! An excellent capture - have to love that huge red bill and the wonderful blacks and whites of his plumage. The pose in the hole is fantastic and the composition is terrific.


hallo Peter

mooie scherpe opname
van een vogel waar je niet op uitgekeken raakt
mooie kleuren
groetjes lou

Totally sharp..Good glass you have on that camera there Peter..It brings in very true colours with an amazing DOF! Seen well on the earth!

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-01-05 11:19]

Hi Peter. What a great looking bird with the red coloured Bill. You have taken this with good detail and natural colours. The bird is in a natural pose looking for food. well done TFs.

Hallo Peter,
Duidelijk de Red-billed versie, Peter.
Toch gemakkelijk te verwarren met die andere de Yellow-billed hornbill. Zou niet mogen:-)
Goeie focus en scherpte.

Hi Peter,
Excellent capture of this beautiful Hornbill; great pose, POV and composition, sharp fine details and natural blurred BG.

Hi My dear friend Peter,
i think this beauty searchin some earthworms for dinner:). Lovely and clear capture my friend!
TFS and cheers,

hello Peter!
new and interesting catch on the African continent continuos with this beautiful bird "Bucero beccorosso" taken in static pose with excellent details of plumage

best sERGIO

  • Great 
  • darwin Gold Star Critiquer [C: 259 W: 0 N: 403] (1401)
  • [2009-01-05 16:57]

Hi Peter
Very nice composition of this Hornbill in his natural environment.
Good POV and focus on eye showing crisp details and nice catchlite in eye.
tfs jon

  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2009-01-05 20:36]

Hello Peter,
This Hornbill have a very beautiful beak. Great POV and notes
Well done..


  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2009-01-06 1:24]

Genial captura Peter,
buen foco y color,
atractivo pose,

Hi Peter,
Una buena captura, has tenido mucha suerte de poder fotografiar a éste Northern Red-billed Hornbill, excelente la naturalidad de la toma.
Salutacions cordials. Ferran.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-01-06 3:52]

Hi Peter.
Pictured by you bird is so fine as the shot. Yu managed to reflect all even tiny details and features of the bird which I have not met any when. I like perfectly selected DOF and sharpness of all scene. Natural surroundings decorate the picture excellently. Exposure of the image is spot on. White and dark colour tones of the bid plumage are reproduced precisely, Bravo and TFS.

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-01-06 8:56]

Hi Peter,
Very nice capture of this Hornbill.I liked eye contact a lot.
Thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2009-01-06 10:02]

Hello peter,

You have chosen a fine, low POV to photograph the bird. It was a fine chice as you have got a good perspective over it. The sharp image shows well the bird plumage pattern beeing well rendered.

Thank you for sharing,

Hello Peter,

Great capture of this beautiful bird.
Nice colours with fantastic details.
Light,focus and sharpness are excellent.
Good notes.

  • Great 
  • efsus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 415 W: 11 N: 843] (3947)
  • [2009-01-06 13:25]

Merhaba Peter!
Bu çok ilginç gagalı ve sevimli kuşun harika bir karesini sunmuşsun. Renkler, detaylar ve keskinlik super olmuş. Emeğine sağlık.


Ciao Peter,
bellissima cattura a terra in una bella postura di questo splendido e caratteristico uccello, ottimo POV basso e eccellente definizione, magnifico il contrasto dei colori con BG del terreno.

Ciao Peter, great capture of lovely strange bird with fantastic colors, great details and splendid sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hi Peter,
You found very interesting species in Ethiopia, a great successful trip. This one is very special and you captured it in his natural environnement, with beautiful colours. Congratulations,

Bonsoir Peter
Je viens de voir cette image et je dois dire qu'elle est tout simplement magnifique. La belle lumière, sujet intéressant, couleurs fines, bonne construction de l'image.
Bravo encore wt au revoir...JP.

Hello again Peter, a beautiful shot of a red-billed hornbill with wonderful composition and POV. TFS.
Regards, Deniz

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-01-09 12:41]

Hello Peter
Very colourful , sharp with good details and very good POV,beautiful composition.
Informative note a allout.
Well done.Best regards Siggi

hello Peter

excellent photography of this Northern Red-billed Hornbill
shot with fine POV, DOF and framing, beautiful warm
luminosity and colour tones, excellent sharpness and details,
and the catch-light render the photo more beautiful, TFS


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2009-01-16 14:23]

Hello Peter,
Lovely image of this beautiful bird, the large bills look so heavy but I have heard they are not. You have captured great color and splendid plumage detail, thank you.

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