Wednesday, July 30, 2008


According to Wikipedia, "hornbill behavior in captivity is described as high-strung."

One of the hornbills we met at the Bird Park was showing signs of being high strung while we were there. Actually, it looked as though the top part of its bill was injured, and the keeper told us something we did not understand – that it had been in a fight with the other one? I didn't catch that.

Anyway, we fed it a little fruit.

After that it lost interest in us. We were apparently so boring we had caused it to collapse.

Later, when we passed through this part of the park again (it was so much fun we did it all twice), the supposedly collapsed hornbill was furtively attempting to get bits of food out of the slightly opened drawer you can see in that second picture. And succeeding, actually, until his (or her) keeper noticed and closed the drawer. I did not get a picture of that, though. Sorry.

I do not know whether this hornbill was the male or the female, but apparently the male is in love with the female, but she thinks she is a human being and is in love with her keeper. (And the male dislikes the keeper intensely, seeing him as a rival.) Because of this doomed love triangle it appears highly unlikely that this pair will break with convention and breed in captivity.

The other hornbill was in a different enclosure (emotional tensions run too high when they are together), and posed for me to take a picture.