This is not an ordinary Hornbills story.
Hornbills are a group of bird characterized by a long, down-curved bill which is frequently brightly-colored. Some species has a casque on their upper mandible. They are usually found in tropical and subtropical region such as in Asia and Africa. It is said that, there are still 55 living species of the Hornbills in the world.
A cruise along Sg. Kertih mangrove
It was in March 2010 when I was assigned to be a tour guide of two bird watchers to record the list of bird species present in Sg. Kertih of Terengganu, Malaysia.
Meeting the Great Hornbill
Our cruise along the river surrounding by mangroves were suddenly put to halt as we saw a Great Hornbill was hopping between the branches above the Sonneratia caseolaris. It was “a moment of silence” suddenly as each of us tried to make our presence is not aware by the “big bird”. Several pictures were recorded at our best efforts as well as our camera maximum functions.
Double joy and the sweet moment
As we were enjoying taking best shots, suddenly a bigger Great Hornbill flew to the side of the first one. Our shutters were wild taking the shots. And it was then when the Hornbills exchange their “bills” with one another. We assumed that the earlier Hornbill was being fed by its mother. It was a sweet moment for us.
Champion of the day
We ended our cruise that day with one conclusion that our meeting with the Great Hornbills was the best moment of the day. It was quite surprising for us considering the mangrove environment where we found them. The Great Hornbill is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is also listed on Appendix I of CITES. We assumed that the pair were hovering around the mangrove area to feed. Until today, I was amazed by the pictures that I have taken although they weren’t the best professional pictures. But, everytime I think about it, I said to myself, it was “Champion of the Day”.
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