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Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill

Abyssinian Ground-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: 2008-08-04
Categories: Birds
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2011-09-10 6:45
Viewed: 6634
Points: 64
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is a photo of a male Abyssinian Ground-hornbill from my archive, 2008, our holiday in Ethiopia. So this is taken in the wild.

The Abyssinian Ground-hornbill or Northern Ground-hornbill, Bucorvus abyssinicus, is one of two species of ground-hornbill.
The other is the Southern Ground-hornbill.

The Abyssinian Ground-hornbill is an African bird, found north of the equator. Groups of ground-hornbills have territories of 2-100 square miles. They are diurnal, weigh about three kilograms, and have long bare legs for walking.

Size: 90-100 cm.
It is a large Turkey-size black bird with a long, decurved bill and conspicuous blue face and white primaries in flight. Tall casque tilts upward at front. Male has bare red throat patch.

In captivity, they can live 35-40 years. Diet in the wild consists of a wide variety of small vertebrates and invertebrates, including tortoises, lizards, spiders, beetles, and caterpillars; also takes carrion some fruits, seeds, and groundnuts.

Habitat: Dry savanna and open grasslands.

Voice: Deep, booming call, faster and slightly higher pitched than that of the Southern Ground-Hornbill.

Sources: Wikipedia and ‘Birds of Africa, South of the Sahara’ by I. Sinclair and P. Ryan

Luis52, Miss_Piggy, cobra112, buscape, marius-secan, Pitoncle, maaciejka, BREARD, ramthakur, jurek1951, PaulLees, Dis. Ac., ana974, siggi, Mamagolo2, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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To cobra112: sharpnessPeterZ 2 09-10 11:06
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2011-09-10 6:57]

Hola Peter.
Nice photo. I guess You have a lot of photos on your archives like I do too.
Never seen this black and long beak before
TFS My friend

Hallo Peter
This Abyssinian Ground-hornbill has lots of similarities to the Ground Hornbill I shared as my 49th bird of the Kruger National Park. The black, blue en red colours together makes a showcase of beauty. I also like the walking motion. Thanks for sharing. Best regards.

Ciao Peter. Bit tender sharp. Amazing colours and right focused eye.


Hi Peter,
A well composed shot of this magnificent Hornbill.I find a little lack of DOF,since head apperas to be sharper than tail.

hallo Peter
Een bijzondere vogel
mooie kleuren en veel details te zien
bedankt groetjes lou

Interesting bird you are presenting today Peter, however the image is lacking sharpness and the white balance was not adjusted correctly at the beginning, my friend. As a result of that the bird's gorgeous black plumage become blue ...unnaturally blue indeed. The use of f/10 also seems questionable in my opinion. Why so much depth of field when there is no need for that? The image is looking just very flat executed that way!! ...on top of that seems to me that the bird was on move and the 1/400s was not fast enough to freeze its motion! Well, I understand ... sometimes the reality is that we are not totally prepared when opportunity strikes and we need to react as soon as we can, tracking the disappearing bird or other animal in the camera's viewfinder taking the shot without having time for any adjustments, so I guess that was some of those moments for you that lucky day, Peter!
George Veltchev

Hello Peter friend,
Nice shot, I like te POW, is good to show us the whole estructure of this interesting bird. Some sharpness is lack, but I know made this shots isn't easy MF! I'm glad to see your bird's shots again... Regards abd Blessing for you and your family!

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-09-10 8:43]

Hi Peter,birds are your passion and this is another pearl in your fantastic collection,what a strange beauty and what a magnificent pic whit the usual top quality of sharpness and colors,not easy in a wild to go so close,i like it!Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano.

Hello Peter,
nice capture of this interesting bird with a lack of sharpness, but it's better to present a species with a more or less good quality than to doesn't present it at all. Thanks for sharing.
Best wishes,

Hallo Peter,
a superb capture of the Northern Ground-hornbill, very good sharpness and beautiful colours, very nice composition
Best regards

Hello Peter
Another interesting presentation of an amazing and exotic bird.

Hello Peter,
Very beautiful and in your usual excellent quality. Best wishes.

PS: Amazing that the natural "blue" reflection off "black" plumage so often seen can be an issue. More amazing even that much DOF can render an image flat.

Hello Peter,
Great image with a splendid species of bird.
Nice capture with excellent colors and very good details.
It is a very interesting bird.
Thanks for sharing!

Ciao Peter, great capture of fantastic bird, fine details, splendid sharpness, wonderful natural colors, very well done my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Bonjour Peter,
La profondeur de champ ne me parait pas excellente à moins que l'image soit très légèrement floue à cause de l'utilisation du téléobjectif sans trépied, mais le sujet est tout de même relativement bien valorisé dans son environnement.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Hi Peter,
really amazing photo. Excellen sharpness. Great comosition,
have a nice day,

  • Great 
  • BREARD Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 1 N: 419] (2141)
  • [2011-09-10 23:44]

Bonjour Peter,
Je ne connaissais pas cet oiseau.
Bonne prise dans le sens de son déplacement.
Bon dimanche

Thank you very nuch for the opportunity to see this incredible bird. Nice photo, good colours and detail. regards yiannis

You garnered a wealth of nature images in the course of your tour of Africa, Peter, and this is yet another great image you have shared with us from the collection.
It is a lovely picture of a unique species of Hornbills.
Thanks and regards.

Hello Peter,
Very nice captured of this male Abyssinian Ground-hornbill, great eye-contact, very good details and beautiful natural colours, a nice nature shot,
Thanks for sharing and have a nice week,
Best Regards,

Hi Peter,
Wonderful capture of this bird.Details are crisp clear and tack sharp.POV,pose of bird,colors,contrast and composition are perfect.

  • Great 
  • ricx Silver Note Writer [C: 8 W: 0 N: 43] (241)
  • [2011-09-11 12:33]

Hello Peter, alovely image of the ground hornbill - they are such big graceful birds that look so clumsy TFS Rich

Hello Peter!

Interesting and very attractive specie very well captured.I saw this bird only in Zoo - so congratulations. Great details, and colours... anyway I prefer lower POV


Hi Peter, Very nice capture of this Abyssinian Ground Hornbill my friend, Not very often we will see this fellow on TN running around in his natural habitat hey!, great effort with this one Peter and very well done,
Best regards,


Hallo Peter,

zo een mooie lage standpunt met mooi oogcontact en goede scherpte.
Prachtige deatailing en kleuren.

ºImpresionante y rara ave que como siempre captaste de manera hábil: pose, colores, enfoque...
Buen trabajo Peter.

  • Great 
  • ana974 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 477 W: 48 N: 968] (4857)
  • [2011-09-12 10:36]

Hello Peter!
So you love to travel...Me too! You have been in Rio de Janeiro! Nice to hear that! And this pic was taken in Ethiopia! Wow!!! This is really a very strange bird.It seems that it is using a diving mask ehehehehehe. Nice shot, my friend! Great sharpness and fine details.TFS
Regards from,

PS: thanks for visiting my gallery! I appreciated it!!

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-09-12 10:54]

Hello Peter,
wonderful composed capture of a Ground Hornbill. This is pretty sharp, wellcomposed and with fine lighting and contrasting grass Bg.Best regards Siggi

Hello Peter,

An interesting fellow this one!
Outstanding head that attracts attention, and the dark plume is well exposed with fine details...
The bird offers a fine posture, as it apparently is striding through the grass!

Pablo -

Hi Peter,
My word, never knew there were Ground-hornbills looking like this. Fantastic image and I like the blue color around the eyes. Thank you for sharing.

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2011-09-16 3:31]

Hello Peter,
another splendid image that i have never seen. The beauty is beyond expression, the head is so amazing. you captured it so well to give a lovely and stunning natural creation.
Excellent contrast of dark on green green grass.
Very well executed shot indeed.


  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2011-09-18 19:55]

Hello Peter,
What an ununusal looking bird. The large bill looks like it is built for some heavy duty use. The head with it's large creast and bright red wattle makes it stand out and be noticed. I like the low POV and nice detail you managed to capture.

Hi Peter,

The subject is well framed. The point of view is showing with precision the details and colors of the Abyssinian Ground-hornbill. The late morning light is enhancing the beauty of the colors. Have a nice day.


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