Hmph… I’m not talking to you.

When you’re mated for life, a tiff now and then is part of life for the Malabar Pied Hornbill!

If you’re out bird watching and you hear the most ridiculous clucking and braying noise from up in the trees, fear not, it’s not a donkey-chicken-hybrid alien invasion from Mars, it’s just a couple of Malabar Pied Hornbills singing a loving duet to each other… or having an argument; sometimes it’s a little hard to tell. With a striking yellow bill and black & white plumage, this bird is easy to spot during the day and as well as at dusk, thanks to the casque on top of their huge bills presenting an unmissable silhouette, somewhat like the alien hunter in the Predator movie franchise! Fortunately, avid bird watchers don’t have to leave the comfort of their surroundings at the Big Game Camp in Kumana to spot a pair of these beautiful Hornbills, as they’re quite plentiful in the area.

Fun facts

Mated for life, Malabar Pied Hornbills are extremely devoted parents. The mama bird lays her eggs in a tree hole and sheds all her feathers on them to keep them warm. She also blocks off the entrance to keep the warmth in and unwanted visitors out. A small opening allows dad to drop off food at regular intervals and everything stays this way for over a month until the little brood has hatched and is ready to meet the world. 

Story of the Photo

This momentary disagreement between the couple was caught on camera by the ever vigilant Hasitha in Kumana National Park, in February 2020.




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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