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Great Hornbill

Great 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: 2013-01-12
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/4, 1/200 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Nature's Oddities [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2013-07-14 5:01
Viewed: 2084
Points: 60
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) also known as Greater Indian Hornbill, Great Pied Hornbill and Two-horned Calao, is one of the larger members of the hornbill family. The Great Hornbill is distributed in the forests of India, the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra, Indonesia. Their impressive size and colour have helped make them a part of local tribal cultures and rituals. The Great Hornbill is long-lived, living for nearly 50 years in captivity. They are predominantly frugivorous although they are opportunists and will prey on small mammals, reptiles and birds.

The Great Hornbill is a large bird, 95-120 cm long, with a 152 cm wingspan and a weight of 2.15–4 kg. It is the heaviest, but not the longest, Asian hornbill. The most prominent feature of the hornbill is the bright yellow and black casque on top of its massive bill. The casque is hollow and serves no known purpose (“tame” hornbills are known to enjoy having them scratched) although they are believed to be the result of sexual selection. Male hornbills have been known to indulge in aerial casque butting flights. Females are smaller than males and have blue instead of red eyes. The male spreads the preen gland secretion which is yellow onto the primaries and bill to give them the bright yellow colour.

Behaviour and ecology
Food and feeding
In the wild, the Great Hornbill's diet consists mainly of fruit. Figs are particularly important as a food sources. Vitex altissima has been noted as another important species. They also forage on lipid-rich fruits of the Lauraceae and Myristicaceae families such as Persea, Alseodaphne and Myristica. They obtain the water that they need entirely from their diet of fruits. They will also eat small mammals, birds, small reptiles and insects.

They forage along branches for insects and small lizards, tearing up bark and examining them. Prey are caught, tossed in the air and swallowed. A rare squirrel, the Travancore flying squirrel Petinomys fuscocapillus has been noted in the diet of the species while Collared Scops Owl Otus bakkamoena, Jungle Owlet Glaucidium radiatum and Grey-fronted Green Pigeon Treron pompadora have been noted as prey birds in the Western Ghats.

During the breeding season they become very vocal. They make loud duets. These calls begin with a loud "kok" about once a second given by the male and joined in by a female. The pair then calls in unison turning into a rapid mixture of roars and barks. They prefer mature forests for nesting. Large and old trees particularly emergents that rise above the canopy appeared to be preferred for nesting.
Female hornbills build nests in hollows of large tree trunks and the opening is sealed with a plaster made up mainly of feces. She remains imprisoned in her nest until the chicks are semi-developed relying on the male to bring her food. During this period the female undergoes a complete moult. She is fed by her mate through a slit in the seal. The clutch consists of one or two eggs she incubates for 38–40 days. The female voids faeces through the nest slit and young follow the same nest sanitation behaviour after they are two weeks old. Once the female emerges out of the nest, it is sealed again by the chicks.
The Great Hornbills form monogamous pair bonds and live in small groups of 2-40 individuals. Group courtship displays involving up to 20 birds have been observed.

Conservation status
Due to ongoing habitat lost and hunting in some areas, the Great Hornbill is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed on Appendix I of CITES.

Source: Wikipedia

This photo is taken in bird park Avifauna

Miss_Piggy, ramthakur, Hotelcalifornia, marius-secan, Ingrid1, aruntp, josediogo1958, pierrefonds, Hormon_Manyer, drchoneydew, anel, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Dear friend,
A perfect portrait (my her majesty appointment :-))! This bird's face always reminds me the face of a Madame in Amsterdam :-)

I add this beauty to my theme "nature's oddities"
Thanks for sharing,
Have a good week

As usual, you have done a superlative job of this portrait of a Great Hornbill, Peter.
Flawless close-up image with amazing details on the entire subject within the frame.

Wow Peter, today your points stand on a round 41 000! What an achievement. You share a beautiful portrait of this hornbill. The colours are very beautiful, and the detail nice and sharp. I really like the tight close-up. The detail of the eye and bright yellow is excellent. Thanks for sharing. Best regards.

Hello Peter
Extraordinarily detailed photograph. Excellent focus and composition. Natural colours
regards yiannis

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2013-07-14 7:03]

Hi Peter,
It is really excellent portrait. Beautiful light, natural colors and sharp details with excellent composition.
Blurred background is nice too.
Regards Jiri.

Hello Peter,
First congratulation for this beauty. Wooohh....What a wonderful portrait of this Great Horn bill.
Every thing is perfect. Great color, sharpness and composition.
Nice point of view.
Thanks for sharing.


Hello Mr.Peter,
Excellent details...beautiful sharpness...soothing light...majestic pose.
Oh yes,'Great Hand' also.
Thanks for your contribution here in TN,
Kind regards,

Hello Peter,
Another top quality image with superb colors and outstanding focus. Very good WB and perfect POV. Incredible sharp details and lovely clarity. Outstanding portrait with perfect sharp details.
Thanks for sharing!

super mooie foto Peter
Goed van scherpte en met super kleuren
veel details te zien
Een pracht kop

groet lou

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6527 W: 89 N: 15623] (65355)
  • [2013-07-14 13:28]

Woow Peter,what a portrait!! The best way to show us this magnificent hornbill,the sharpness,the details and the colors are really the best as possible,a great standing ovation for you today! Have a nice week and thanks,Luciano

Wow Peter
照的特寫真是美麗 又清楚 顏色可以看的非常仔細亮麗

excellent closeup in nice angle. good presentation. really loved this photograph. tfs.

  • Great 
  • Ishi Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 298 W: 21 N: 1943] (13387)
  • [2013-07-15 0:11]

Fantastic close-up. Beautiful and unusual POV. Very lovely colors and and exquisite details!

Have a pleasant and productive day, Peter,


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2013-07-15 4:13]

Hello Peter,
Perfect colourful portrait of this Great Hornbill. I like everything at your picture: rich colours, great details and sharpness, impressive BG, exposure and contrast.Regards Siggi

Hi Peter
Another stunning portrait bird park Avifauna.
Excellent compo,fantastic compo and colours.Superb details.Many thanks.
Have a great day!
Best regards!

  • Great 
  • john1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 122 W: 0 N: 439] (3410)
  • [2013-07-15 10:44]

Hi Peter,

Excellent portrait and close-up, awesome shot.
The détails and the texture of the plumage are splendid, wonderful job.
The colors and the light are amazing, TFS.
Have a good week,

This is great MF Jiri! The show of colours. Razor details excellent sharp impresive focus.


Hi Peter,

The tight frame is putting the bird in evidence. The close-up point of view is showing the détails and colours of the head of the Great Hornbill. The eye contatc is very good. It is clear and sharp. Have a nice day.


Hi Peter,
What you've done is simply beautiful. Perfect exposure on the hornbill's head, excellent light management (I like very much the way how you used flash). The colors and details on the plumage are incredible. Even the (almost) blown out patches in the background aren't disturbing either. Excellent job! Hats off!
Best regards, László

Hallo Peter
what a great portraite of pretty hornbill, with coloration, exposure and focus.
You are lucky to see them in Zuid Holland. Do you remember Egyptian Plover in there?
Thanks for sharing. All the best

Another GREAT portrait of an exotic bird Peter! The colours are fantastic! The sharpness is impressive!

Hello Peter,
An excellent portrait captured with great details and clarity.Perfectly exposed and nice colours saturation.
Thanks,Best regards,

Does he use Mascara on those lashes?? WOWOW this is AMAZING and never ever seen one of these in the wild. WOW have to add this to my bucket list! :) LVOE IT

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2013-07-18 5:31]

Hello Peter,
A little bit late but I have to congratulate for this impressive bird-portrait. You had a supermodel with this Great Hornbill with its most striking yellow/black colouration. Very fine pose and perfect sharpness and light-management.

Ciao Peter, great portrait of fantastic bird, superb sharpness, fine details and wonderful colors, very well done, my friend, have a good Sunday, ciao Silvio

Hello Peter

He has an amazing head and beak this Great Hornbill,
excellent portrait reproducing the expressive
glance of the bird, excellent light, great focus,
sharpness, details, excellent contrast of the color tones, TFS


  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2013-07-22 3:41]

Hello Peter
such a detailed shot of the hornbill. The eyes and the little hairs are really amazing in your shot.
Excellent job in wonderful view.


  • Great 
  • IronM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 144 W: 3 N: 345] (2608)
  • [2013-07-22 4:03]

HI Peter,
excellent portrait of this wonderful bird,
outstanding details, wonderful lighting and natural colors !
Well done !
Best regards !

Excellent composition with natural colors and good sharpness


hello Roberto
An exceptional portrait of bird.
superb clarity and colour.
best wishes,

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