(This post contains 9 images). A recent visit to the Kruger National Park began with this cheeky little hornbill. It all started innocently. That coy sideways look – the body language which spoke loud and clear – ‘I am just going to perch here and maybe, just maybe, you will drop a crumb or two – please!’
Well, we did our best to ignore him, but no, this hornbill was not going to be ignored.
Now he had hopped onto the table, the stare now direct and challenging. I could read his mind: ‘I am not moving; I have their attention; they think I am super cute! I will just perch here and work my magic’.
Well his magic worked! We could not resist that plea and he got his little piece of scone. I must say though, despite his determination, he did not attempt to steal food. I think he just knew it would be handed to him.
Here you can see the little piece of scone in his beak. Now besides being the cutest little beggar on planet earth, don’t forget to admire just how beautiful this bird is. Lovely soft head and underlying tail feathers. The black and white colour links in the wings is unique, and to top it all off the matching yellow and red beak and eyes.
This is just me admiring him! I have always loved the hornbill. This fellow is a Southern yellow-billed hornbill. These birds are brimming with character. If you think a parrot has character, wait until you meet a hornbill up close.
The above two pics is where the cheeky hornbill should be! In the bush foraging for his own berries and insects, and not sitting at the picnic table begging for food from soft hearted folk like myself.
This is an oil painting I did of a hornbill. I painted him sitting on a large bin at a picnic spot, as this is where they often seen – begging for food!
On a serious note: Do not feed the wildlife! (I am guilty, I know). It was one morsel. Sorry!