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Image 03 hornbill

Best seen and not heard 

Meet the Malabar Pied Hornbill, a bird that’s got the looks but not the pipes.

Often found around the Mahoora Tented Safari Camp in Yala, the Malabar Pied Hornbill is a fantastic bird for photographers to track, as it gives incredible profile shots and is almost model-esque in its posing. The beautifully curved yellow bill stands out in stark contrast to the distinct black Casque and black plumage of the body, which makes for great pictures when shooting the bird against cerulean skies. But alas, being blessed with good looks meant shortcomings in other areas! Not much can be said about the call of this hornbill, except that it’s about as far as you can get from words like “Melodious”, “Chirpy” or “Silvery whistle” and is best described as a sound from product of an unholy union of a chicken and a donkey.

Fun Facts

Apart from being the coolest beak-mod of the avian world, the Casque has a practical use. Due to its hollow nature, it helps to amplify the Hornbills' unique call across dense jungle areas; no doubt startling many an animal from their peaceful reveries. The cool beak is also very practical in helping this omnivorous bird to indulge in a balanced diet of fruits, insects, small mammals and little lizards.

Story of the photo

While on a trek in the Weheragala area of the Yala National Park, Gavin came across the perfect spot to shoot this Hornbill. He opines that, even though they are commonly found throughout evergreen forests, a chance to capture them on camera should never be missed, because they give the most curious looks and the coolest poses. 

 

Much more than just a great place to stay

"Thanks to our guide Avinka we had five great safaris staying four nights just after reopening this February. The staff made us feel so very welcome during the entire stay.

The safaries are just wonderful, and having a great guide in your vehicle makes a big difference. Avinka can spot animals you would never see and we were even lucky enough to sight leopards on the trees, close to our vehicle, and also running through the field. The wildlife is so exciting that you will have a great experience even if you don‘t see any leopards. We also had a great driver, which is essential if you drive through difficult territory. You are being taken care of the entire time, so even for those who do safaris for the first time, you will always feel safe.

The camp itself is very comfortable, you get everything you can think of, and on top of the great food being served with so much attention and friendliness. You also get wonderful vegetarian and vegan options. They put on bonfires at night, which makes it unforgettable.
When booking and making plans, you get great support from the headquarters, even if it gets difficult since you have to change your plans.
The best thing what can happen to you at the end of a vacation is when you are a bit sad to leave the place, having experienced something to remember forever, and the team does everything for this to happen. Thank you so much"

Axel S wrote, Traveled with family
January 2021

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