Sunday, December 5, 2010

Chestnut-Breasted Malkoha

Kenyir, 27th-30th October 2010


My previous attempts to photograph this magnificent bird  failed to produce any desirable results. Even though relatively a large bird, their habit of clambering and creeping amongst dense foliage in mid-story make them tough to photograph. Getting clean shots of them is like winning a lottery!

Luck must be on my side when this lovely bird briefly showed up on a leafless branch allowing me to get a few clean shots.



Notice the red facial skin and dark oily-green upperside, they look almost metallic..




Chestnut colored breast – hence the name Chestnut-Breasted Malkoha




A tight crop of the steely, cold, blue eye


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

White-Crowned Hornbill

Kenyir, 27th to 30th October 2010


Mention the name ‘Hornbill’ and the images that flash by are of those large, magnificent bird with glorious, colorful, large casque and over-sized bill. But what I have here is a Hornbill that does not conform to our usual expectation of how a Hornbill should look like. Without a prominent casque, long shaggy white crest and dirty colored bill, many people would say that this WC Hornbill is the ugliest among the hornbills, but then, what right have we got to make that judgment? I believe, if they could talk they’ll tell us that they don’t need to look pretty to humans but prefer to be left alone in their natural habitat and help ensure their survival! Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?

All my previous encounters with Hornbills in Kenyir area have always been with their more recognized cousins, the Great Hornbill, Rhinoceros Hornbill and the Oriental Pied Hornbill. This was my first encounter with the White-Crowned Hornbill in this area. Unfortunately the distance and lighting gave me little opportunity to capture better images of this wonderful bird.

Female WC Hornbill with black underparts.



Male WC Hornbill with white underparts.



A distant shot of this lovely couple



About an hour later, I spotted another pair perched on a nearby tree but the male flew off before I had my gear set up, leaving me with just a few shots of this young female bird.