Birds are such fascinating creatures… for example, the male hornbill would first attract a female by singing to establish his territory, thus after a certain period of advertising, he would find a suitable mate.

The female will then select a hole in a tree for the nest in which she will be laying the eggs. When the female is ready to lay eggs she will go into the hole, pull out all her feathers to make it safe and comfortable for the hatchlings and then the male would then cover the hole with mud. He makes with saliva and soft sand to protect the female and the young. He will leave only a small hole through which he will be able to feed the female.

This continues for a certain period of time until the hatchlings are ready for first flight. This will only happen once the female’s feathers have grown back. As cruel as nature might be, if the male somehow dies while the female is in the hole then the female and the young will unfortunately perish too due to the fact that they cannot break out and there is no way of being fed. This is the unfortunate fate of some of our interesting creatures.

Pieter – Kapama River Lodge
08/07/2012