Thursday, January 27, 2011

Horny

I have seen these the Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris in the wild several times, but only manage to capture the image of this bird in Thailand with my new tele lens. Its hand held so its not perfect but its my first decent shot of this bird.

These iconic creatures actually make adoring pets. A friend once kept a bird that upon seeing me, would pressed its body next to the cage so that I can tickle it....and as I do so, scratching its chin, crest and down the back of the spine, it half closed its eyes and quivering, made a low grunting sound!

I nicknamed it Horny....corny I know but it stuck.

Alfred Wallace (if I remember correctly) noted seeing them picked fruits from their oversized beak and pop them into its owner's mouth .... I would have wanted to try that on Horny had I not known that the same beak was used to pick naked new-born mice, a special treat which it swallowed with an audible gulp.

One day while cleaning its cage, my friend inadvertently left the cage door opened and Horny was handled an option of either a good life with five-star massages or freedom. He chose the latter ..... and as if undecided, lingered near the vicinity for a few more days before disappearing altogether.

Good luck, Horny.

2 comments:

Hermes said...

What a great picture, and story. And mention of Wallace one of my heroes.

rohrerbot said...

That's a great story. Sounds like an interesting bird. The pic sure caught my attention....and your pic is great by the way:)

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