Nature

Hornbills, the plain kind…

Hornbills of India - Indian grey hornbill

I’m yet to roam in landscapes with those exotic, exquisite hornbills… until then, grey hornbills are all one gets as their everyday fill of these avians… gazing out of the window on a sultry city afternoons or running through foggy mornings, their laboured flight more often than not catches the eye, making them, even if they’re not, seemingly ubiquitous… on the smaller side as compared to the rest of its brethren, be it the overall size or that of the casque, it’s only that characteristic large bill that saves them from becoming nondescript… heavy is the head that…?, the chuckling thought always crosses the mind as the bird passes by… cavity nesters, monogamous, arboreal, they are the kind that pretty much like to keep to themselves, an existence aloof of the terra firma… ‘tis intriguing that they are mostly frugivores given that large embellishment of a beak, surely a smaller bill could easily pluck fruit or snatch a bug if need be, one wonders… just ask the barbet…

Hornbills of India - Indian grey hornbill

We found these individuals while eating dust (as one usually ends up doing in jeep tracks) at the tiger reserve in Pilibhit… there’s always more to it than meets the eyes, one ponders thinking how they’re related to hoopoes with no relation whatsoever to toucans despite being so similar in appearance, who in turn are related to woodpeckers and barbets… convergent evolution is the scientific term, let’s just call it natural design made to look like a coincidence… as lesser golden flamebacks were meticulously drumming their way up the tree, the hornbills took lazy flights from tree to tree, panting to shake off the afternoon heat, and then as twilight beckoned, squinching at the same old boring menu… the nesting season would soon arrive though, ending the mundane for a parenting frenzy…

Indian grey hornbill

Musing on Indian grey hornbills, Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh

Author: Parth Joshi

Mountain lover ⛰️ | Hiker 🥾| Runner 🏃‍♂️ | Cyclist 🚴 | Photographer 📷... allured by the outdoors, the author is a quintessential lost soul craving for the outdoors while suffering in a desk job...

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