Great hornbill, Khao Yai National Park, Thailand
© kajornyot wildlife photography/Shutterstoc
This bird is peak beak. Great hornbill, Thailand
The great hornbill is a remarkable bird found in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. Despite weighing as much as 9 pounds and growing up to 4 feet long, it is an agile flyer capable of maneuvering through dense forests. Alongside its striking black and yellow plumage, the great hornbill has a unique helmet-like casque on its bill, which amplifies its calls. The bird primarily feeds on fruit but also eats small mammals, reptiles, and insects. While incubating her eggs, the female great hornbill seals herself inside a tree cavity, leaving a small opening through which the male inserts food. This magnificent bird holds cultural and spiritual significance in many Southeast Asian cultures as a sacred animal and the subject of festivals.