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Red Billed Hornbill

Red Billed Hornbill
Photo Information
Copyright: Alan Turvey (liquidsunshine) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1878 W: 112 N: 1560] (5437)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-05-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 300 D, Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX APO RF, Hoya skylight (1B)
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2005-11-22 13:24
Viewed: 4435
Points: 56
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Again the trusty Archive raid provided this shot. A Red-Billed Hornbill, from my visit to London Zoo in May.
I hadn't posted this earlier as I found the BG branch a big distraction. I'm hoping to make the short visit to London sometime in the next month, to see what winter delights the Zoo has to offer.

Thin red bill and pale head distinctive, crown and nape dark grey, neck and face white, back sooty brown with white stripe down center, underparts white, primaries black with white spots, tail black. Circumorbital and throat skin creamy yellow to pale pink. 3 subspecies. Males and females similar but males slightly larger.

From Senegal right across Africa to Ethiopia and Somalia and south to Kenya and Tanzania. Also in South Africa, Botswana, Angola and Mozambique. Favours open savanna, woodland or thorn scrub.

Obtains almost all food on the ground while running about. Feeds largely on insects - beetles, grasshoppers, termites, ants, fly larvae. Also takes geckos, birds' eggs and nestlings and scavenges dead rodents.

Usually found in pairs or small family parties, but during the dry season may congregate in flocks of several hundred at good feeding areas, such as around water holes. They are territorial and will defend their territories against their own species, but not other species, so that several species of hornbill may have overlapping territories. Birds move to feeding areas early in the morning, but usually return to a regular roost site within their territories at night. They roost in a tree close to the trunk or large branch. Like all hornbills except the large ground hornbills of Africa, Red-billed Hornbills nest in holes in trees where the female is sealed up for two to three months while she incubates the eggs and feeds the young with insects brought by the male. The female lays 3-5 eggs which she incubates from 23-25 days. The female molts and re-grows her feathers during incubation. She breaks out of the nest when the eldest chick is 21-22 days old. The chicks reseal the entrance alone using their droppings and food remains. Chicks fly well on first emergence from nest, never returning. They may remain with their parents for 6 months.

These ground-dwelling hornbills run rather than hop. They are expert diggers for which their bills are well-adapted. They fly with a flap-and-glide flight on relatively short wings. The long tail may be used as a brace while hanging on to a vertical tree trunk near a nest hole.

Notes from oakland zoo.org

Thanks for looking.

thistle, Janice, wallhalla15, pompey, sAner, Merlin, Fisher, Mousehill, hummingbird24, alejandroguzman, ellis49, red45, coasties, fiyo, TAZ, scottevers7, livios, dew77, gerhardt, cecilia, nofer has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

The way nature bent its beak, this hornbill will never look happy but he might just be. A full, unobstructed view of his eye wouldve improve the photo but thats easy for me to say it while a lot more luck and work for you and the main reason for that is not a lack or "the right moment" but the thick eyelashes hornbills have. The crop the colors are good.

fajny dziób!!:) genialnie zakrecone, super g³epia, ³adny kadr!!

Superb shot Alan!
Well, maybe he doesn't look sweet but he is somehow beautiful.
It's very interesting photo and technically perfect ;)

I like it very much :)

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-11-22 14:21]

He has a great profile Alan. Very aristocratic! Excellent capture, thank you.

Very nice portrait shot Alan. Great sharpness and POV, well captured too. Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • pompey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 144 W: 4 N: 746] (2774)
  • [2005-11-22 15:43]

Great shot Alan, very sharp, good composition, nice colours and lovely background.
Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2005-11-22 16:07]

A beauty, Alan. That downward curved beak is quite impressive. Sharp details and perfect exposure. Excellent POV, though I would not miss that brown bar in the upper left corner. Great job and TFS. : )

You have some great stuff in the archives, Alan! The DOF is spot on here, you can see the colors of the iris on this hornbill. Great focus and POV too!

Your friend from the land of "no more margaritas" for a while (at least a day or two, LOL),


  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-11-22 16:49]

Fantastic portrait! These birds are beautiful. I tried to photograph one when I was in Avifauna, but couldn't get a decent shot. Your picture is great Alan. Great colors and sharp details. Good POV & DOF. Well done & TFS!


  • Great 
  • Merlin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 445 W: 267 N: 455] (1713)
  • [2005-11-22 17:01]

Very nice shot of the "business end" of this Hornbill. I've watched them in the wild, where they are amazing, but very elusive. Nice exposure and DOF, nicely separated from the background.
Thanks, Nigel.

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2005-11-22 17:24]

Hi Alan,

Excellent shot and well done on this portrait and details.
Too bad for that bar over the bill, but, that's the environment, gota give and take. ;)


Nice capture of the Hornbill, I like the composition in this one, with a nice soft background. :)

Hello Alan,
A great portrait of this hornbill, I like the pose and the way the body leads the eye to his head and beak. I'm not too fond of the branch in the background that seems to fall on his head. Normally I wouldn't dare to try to clone a piece this size out of a photo, but I dids try to get an idea what the image without the branch in the background would like.
Still well worth the two smilies though!

Nicely composed portrait of this wonderful hornbill, Alan.

Excellent details, colors, lighting and POV.

He certainly looks to be the serious type.

Great job, thank you for sharing it.

Hi Alan:

Colorful picture ... very well composed, great DOF and colors.


Nice detailed profile shot, well done.


Hi Alan,
It's a very good picture, well shown the big beak.
Good details, nice colours and well composed.
Very well done.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-11-23 2:26]

Fantastic capture Alan! Great composition and details, very interesting subject and note. BG isn't best not disturbing at all.

Hi Alan

Love this guy. Great close details. The clarity and sharpness are perfect. Nicely composed with good exposure. Spot on! Thanks.

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2005-11-23 6:24]

Hello Alan,
Very good shot indeed!
Very nice capture with perfect POV.
Colors are very natural and the composition is good. TFS

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-11-23 6:51]

Wow ! What a wonderful bird with an impressive beak that you have very well captured ! Perhaps a clone tool to remove the distracting bar on left ;-) Congratulations Alan and thanks for sharing.

Hi Alan,
A superb shot on this Hornbill. A great profile portrait with very sharp detail. The DOF is perfect. It is a shame about the branch. This is such a good shot you should consider removing it. Great notes with this great shot.

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-11-23 12:05]

Alan, great impact in this stunning image.

Excellent pose, pov and composition in this excellent mug shot.

I like colors too.


  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-11-24 9:49]

Hello Alan!
Wonderful portrait.POV,colors,sharpness,clear details,catchlight in eyes,framing and composition are excellent.TFS..:-)

Nice one, Alan. The OOF BG and sharp head looks very nice. The OOF shoulder in the FG a bit distracting but it's a minor nit. Love the color. Well done.

Beautiful profile shot,with great lighting,colour and detail...
Perfect all around IMO...
well done...

  • Great 
  • nofer Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1190 W: 366 N: 811] (2307)
  • [2005-12-15 22:21]

Suas fotos são sempre muito bem realizadas, com nitidez, contraste e excelentes cores, muito boa composição.
Esta foto não é exceção...!!!
Muito bom trabalho.
Yours photos are always very well accomplished, with clearness, contrast and excellent colors, very good composition.
This picture is not exception...!!!
Very good work.

  • Great 
  • RII Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 481 W: 0 N: 895] (2862)
  • [2006-01-03 6:06]

Hi Alan.
Great portrait, excellent composition nice colors and details.
Saludos and happy new year 2006...RICARDO.

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