Thursday, April 12, 2012

With the Juvenile White-crowned Hornbill

So long after my last update on our trip to the forest last month. Here is some story to share. This is an amazing bird. I never had a chance to be so close with hornbill (except in the cage of zoo) before. So, this experienced is kinda amazing and precious one for me.

This young hornbilll was found by one of our staff in the rocky stream not far from our field station (camp). It failed on (not sure how many tries) it's trial to fly. Fall into the stream and our boys caught it. While the mother up on the tree making sounds alarming the young one. But they get it and brought it back to our camp.

Referring to our staff, it was really scared and tried to flew away at the beginning but after they feed it with some bananas, it start to calm down and stay quietly at our canteen.

At the same day we have visitors (researchers) from Smithsonian Institution, and we refer to the Birds of Borneo Field Guide Book, trying to id it and get more info about its distribution, behaviour etc, we find out it eat fruits and some insects as well as frogs.

So, on the 2nd day, it start to feed on some beetle that we get from the mist nest (which we carried out some birds and bats mist netting as well). It start to do some stretch and cleaning the young furs. The little one seems to comfortable and at the same time prepare itself to flew away.

On the 3rd day, when i already left the camp, i get information from our staff it flew away. But only for a while. it came back a day later and asking for food! It perch on the high tree near the camp making sounds and our staff call it and it replies them. However, only one of our staff can get it on her arm and feed it. It will ignores others. So, they feed it frogs as well as insects and banana. Up till today, it keep coming over to the camp area asking for food. I am not feeling good about this because i really wanted it to be get back to the wild and survive there. Looking for its own food. The mother seems to be around but not close to the camp area.

Tomorrow, i will go to the camp and check on this lil fella. I already gave some advice to our staff to trained the bird to get it's own food. Here is my photo with this little fella which they name it ROMEO. (^__^)

Till then!
Rose Ragai