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Trumpeter Hornbill

Trumpeter Hornbill
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-10-06
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 15x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 125
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger NP 2009
Theme(s): Kruger National Park 2, Loot's Favourites 1, RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions to TN 4, Birds of South Africa 3 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-01-09 0:12
Viewed: 5651
Points: 80
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Trumpeter Hornbill / Bycanistes bucinator

As from today, for the next couple of weeks, I would like to share a series of photos of some of the birds we came across while we where touring the Kruger National Park during our holiday in October 2009. Several of them are well known to you, others not so familiar. Unfortunately there are some that we could hear and see in the far distance, but evaded us from photographic opportunities. It will nevertheless be a great pleasure taking you with me on a journey through the game reserve and stopping at some of the gorgeous birds we were able to see and to photograph. Enjoy!

This bird was photographed early morning on our way between Crocodile Bridge and Berg-en-Dal camps. It was sitting in a dried out tree near to the denser vegetation growing in the riverine where the Bume River joins up with the larger Crocodile River.

Loot has done some research in the Gallery and found it is the first time that this bird was posted on Trek Nature.

The Trumpeter Hornbill belongs to the family of birds classified as Bucerotidae. It is neither endemic or near endemic to the Kruger National Park. It has a height of about 65cm and weighs around 565 grams. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured grey. It has a white coloured throat, black legs and black coloured back. The eyes are red. Both sexes have the same plumage and colours. It is a largish bird about the same size as a Pied Crow.

Feeding Habits
These birds are usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage. They eat insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten. They forage mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs also eating fruits and seeds.

Breeding Habitat and Nesting Habits
The Trumpeter Hornbill is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. In the event of a partner dying they will seek out a new mate.

The female lies between 2-4 white coloured eggs. The bird builds its nest within a tree cavity just a few meters above the ground. The hole in the tree is normally reused in the next birding season (see my photo for such an example). The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams. It is found commonly in the most South African forests. You will normally see the Trumpeter Hornbill in pairs or flocks and not as single birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages
Afrikaans ... Gewone Boskraai
Xhosa ... Ilithwa
Zulu ... iKhunatha
German ... Trompeter-Hornvogel
Portuguese ... Calau-trombeteiro
French ... Calao trompette
Dutch ... Trompetneushoornvogel


I hope you enjoyed looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

aruntp, albert, nasokoun, CeltickRanger, Mamagolo2, loot, smitha, jlinaresp, xTauruSx, marius-secan, anemone, marianas, Chiza, siggi, zulfu, jaycee, tuslaw, eng55, boreocypriensis, uleko, Noisette, marhowie, Argus, sranjan, Maged, delpeoples, sandpiper2 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To aruntp: ThanksMiss_Piggy 1 01-16 06:03
To jignasi: HornbillsMiss_Piggy 1 01-16 05:58
To Maged: ThanksMiss_Piggy 1 01-15 19:55
To PeterZ: Hallo PeterMiss_Piggy 1 01-09 01:43
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Critiques [Translate]

trumpeter hornbill is not there in my location. thank you for knowing it, with all great details.

Hello Anna,
I hope you are doing fine now.
Very beautiful photo of this Trompetneushoornvogel. The saturated colours are splendid. Great sharpness, details, POV, DOF, eye contact and composition. In this pose all important marks are visible.
Good weekend,

Hi Anna.
This bird look great and funny in same time.
Good picture with nice colors and interesting subject.Well done.
Greetings and friendly regards.Alin.

Hello Anna,
Great capture of this hornbill, superb sharpness and subject well detached from a clear blue sky
Well done
Have a nice Weekend

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2010-01-09 2:32]

Merhaba Anna,
Mavi gökyüzünün çok güzel fonu önünde harika bir fotoğraf.
Tebrik ederim.

Hello Anna,
fine colorful vivid scene and composition, beautiful sharp result and photo!
keep photographing! TFS

Hello Anne,
a very beautiful capture of the Trumpeter Hornbill taken from an excellent POV in a great posture with a splendid profile against a marvellous blue sky, very good sharpness and fine detail of the plumage, very well composed.
Have a good weekend

hello Anna

first i wish you a fast recovery, excellent close-up photo
of this exotic bird, with fine POV and framing, fine focus
sharpness and details, beautiful luminosity and blue sky,



Hello Anna,
Great capture of this beautiful bird. I love the bird standing out against the blue sky. Very good sharpness and clear detail. VWD and TFS.

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2010-01-09 6:47]
  • [3]

Hi Anna

This is a magnificent capture of the Trumpeter Hornbill. Through the years this was
one of the very rare occasions that we found any of these birds. I was so excited to
capture it as it was perched in such a favourable open spot. Unfortunately that was
not meant to be. You know what happened next. While I was still busy parking the
car and getting ready to shoot this bird you, whilst sitting in the back seat and having
all the time and opportunity to prepare, so that the moment the car comes to a stand
still you are ready and shooting away, once again got the best or only shot of the bird.
Next time you are driving, OK.

No serious, I just love this shot. The bird shows amazing details and colours. The tree
framed the image and the bird has ample space to its right to look into. That fabulous
blue sky made a brilliant BG to enhance the subject.

Well done and TFS.

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2010-01-09 7:07]

Hello Anna
Another interesting bird capture with wonderful colors and excellent details

Hello Anna,
Now for the next couple of weeks , I will regularly visit Tn because I don't want to miss these beautiful shots of birds from Kruger.:) Lovely image of this beautiful bird captured against a vibrant blue sky.well exposed, very sharp and good details in the plumage.
Thanks and regards,

Hi Anna,
Very well done shot, taken form a difficult POV, but very good handled by you. Interesting African bird, shoted whit perfect details an texture. Nice solar ligth. TFS, regards and happy Sunday.

Hello Anna, excellent shot of this beautiful faced:) bird with nice details and composition.
TFS and regards,

Wauwh!!Anna this is a SUPER picture
i like this bird very much
great details and super sharpness with good light
you can see the bird very good
great shot
greeting lou

Hello Anna,
Great shot with lovely vivid colours and exceptional sharp details.
Wonderful composition and very nice background. Excellent contrast and light.

Hi Anna,
Lovely capture of this pretty hornbill on a branch.
Details, composition and POV are wonderful.
Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • Chiza Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 133 W: 0 N: 474] (5351)
  • [2010-01-09 11:26]

Hola Anna, una foto maravillosa de esta gran especie, de gran colorido y detalles POV,DOF; además acompañado de una excelente información...saludos.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-01-09 13:07]

Hello Anna.
Excellent capture.I liked POV,exposure,details on plumage,sharpness and composition are wonderful.Thanks for posting.
Best regards Siggi

Hi Anna.
Excellent photography..Great details and notes...Very interesting...Pose and huge head shape is funny...TFS.

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2010-01-09 15:44]

Hello Anna, wonderful shot of this very interesting big-headed and billed bird with nice composition and POV.
TFS and G's,

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2010-01-09 15:48]

Hi Anna,

I think it's delightful that you are going to share your trip with us. If this Hornbill is an example of the species you saw I can't wait to see more. An adorable pose showing us his amazing beak, eye, and feathers. I love the view from the rear. Colors and details are perfect and they are enhanced by the wonderful blue sky. Hope you are getting around again.


  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2010-01-09 20:58]

Hello Anna,
I can't imagine having to support the weight of a bill like this every day. The neck and head do seem to be very large for the body, so maybe it's not all that bad for this guy. Super fine detail and beautiful natural colors along with perfect exposure!! Looks like an Arizona sky from the color. Looking forward to more birds. TFS.

Wow, Anna, these are scarce, I can only remember seeing one of them during my Kruger visits.
Thnks for sharing :-).. Great point of view and sharpness, the colours are very true.
Excellent photo!

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2010-01-09 22:08]

Hi Anna,
Very beautiful capture against the blue sky.I liked pose of bird,exposure,lighting and details a lot.Excellent work!
Have a nice sunday!
Thanks for posting..

Hi Anna
Great capture of this wonderful faced bird from very nice vantage point with perfect focus, excellent DOF, great clarity and delightful composition.
TFS and have a nice day!

Ps. Sorry for late commenting. I had some internet connection problems to TN.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2010-01-10 2:09]

Hi Anna,i hope you are fine now...and then i must to give you my greats compliments for this incredible bird taken from a POV in"Jaycee" style..ehehe...all is perfect,from the colors to the sharpness,and the composition too whit the tree is fantastic! Thanks for share,i hope to see you again walking in this park as soon! Have a nice Sunday,Luciano

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-01-10 2:12]

Hello Anna,
What a lovely capture of a Trumpeter Hornbill, a species I can't recall having seen before! Excellent focus on the turned head and fine sharp details and beautiful colours of this grand bird. A great composition too. Perhaps it was looking for a nesting hole, but this little one must have been disappointing!!
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-01-10 5:44]

Hello Anna,
this is a WOW for the capture. What a splendid view. The sharpness of the subjects and its surrounding is beyond doubt. The beauty is further enhanced by the blue sky.
Such an exciting presentation of this special bird with its clarity a top class.
well presented and excellent nature shot.


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2010-01-10 8:50]

HI Anna,
I love hornbills. They are such amazing creatures.
The hornbills I have seen have only been at zoos, and they tend to be the same few species.
This trumpeter hornbill is a new one for me.
I love the profile view of this oversize head and beak, with that telltale crest on the beak.
The red eyepatch stands out well against the beautifully rendered black plumage.
The blue sky shows off the subject perfectly.
TFS. : )

Hello Anna
congratulations for a new species on TN, this Hornbill is very beautiful, his black and white pumage is well taken and well seen, his bill is very strange
Wonderful pose and splendid blue sky
Have a good night

Ciao Anna. Geat POV here and perfect DIOF with amazing light and perfect contrast.


That bright red eye ring caught my "eye" in thumbnail Anna, well detailed.
I especially like this view of the birds backside, the subtle blue metallic plumage and white wing edges look so cool :)
Happy New Year!

Ciao Anna, fantastic bird in great pose against a beautiful blue sky, good composition with splendid light and colors, fine details and superb sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-01-11 6:46]

Hello Anna,
Congratualtions on this first for TN!
Not only that, this is a superb capture of the Trumpeter hornbill. The pose, POV, sharpness, colours and composition against a fine blue sky contribute to an excellent portrait of this species, that I have never seen before!
Thanks and kind regards,

Hello Anna,
Very well shot photograph of Trumpeter Hornbill against the clear blue sky where it stands out well with good eye contact with the subject, perfect details & sharpness. I can see two holes in the tree probably used as nest; but they look under size for a bird like Gewone Boskraai. Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • Maged (218)
  • [2010-01-14 23:40]
  • [+]

Hello Dear Anna
Instead of traveling around the world , you show us all the strange in the nature, Amazing bird,perfect timing to capture the bird while it looks to your camera.
Professional work.

Best regards

Hi Anna, what an exotic looking bird, made even more exotic by your original POV. It's almost as if he turned towards the lens on your command. Beautiful blue sky to set off his plummage and I like the inclusion of the tree and branch. Great job and have a wonderful weekend, Lisa

Pocos comrentarios y mucho que observar Anna.
Precioso trabajop y más para los ajenos a este tipo de aves:-)

Abrazo: J. Ignasi.

Hi Anna,

Awesome colors and amazing framing! It's amazing to see your photos! This bird is so beautiful! The red color around the eyes are very beautiful and nicely captured in the photo!

Thanks a lot for sharing it!

Hi Anna

Well done on being first to illustrate this species on TN. Great composition and good sharpness. a fine shot against that beautiful blue sky.


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