It seems that every camp comes with a hornbill in African reserves. You only know you’ve truly settled in when you see one (or more likely several) of these big-beaked birds bouncing around.
They come in different sizes and colors but the 2 you are likely to see in camps in southern Africa are the yellow-billed and red-billed hornbills. They can be difficult to tell apart. OK I’m kidding – these 2 species, unlike many others, have been given sensible, descriptive names!
They both have the same long eyelashes, the same habit of quizzically angling their heads, and the same ability to pick up the tiniest seeds with their over-sized beaks. They also add a lovely soundtrack, a background conversation almost, to hot afternoons in camp.
One final note – they’d both be absolutely terrifying if they were the size of an ostrich!
This artwork is available on Etsy, priced at $180 with free shipping in the US.
More next time.