A loud laugh, a hysterical cackle!
I got up with a start early morning,
opened my eyes. I was in
my friend's house in Wayanad
It was a Malabar Gray Hornbill
we had sighted a few days back
in plantations in the slopes below
resident of the dense forests too
of the hills of the Western Ghats.
Wondered when her egg
was hatched and she broke
the muddy seal of her nest
to come out of voluntary seclusion.
She has a long sharp beak
curved, is fruigivorous, but
unlike other hornbill species,
she has her casque missing.
She has grey brown wings,
black primary flight feathers,
grey back, heavy orange bills
and long white tipped blackish tail.
As a large fruit-eating bird,
hornbill plays a vital role
in dispersing the seeds of
about eighty rainforest trees.
White cedar trees suffered
ninty percent decline
in seed dispersal, when
hornbill population declined.
If there are no hornbills
there will be no cedars,
and may be no man!
For, it is for them that it rains
still in the forests, in spite of man
their trees cutting down
and hunting them down!
A wonderful poem, rather a biological description, is deeply informative of the Grey Hornbills
Thank You, dear poet. There are many subspecies of Hornbills in India. The Hornbills Festival
A wonderful informative birds' series. My wife is a lecturer in zoology but she is not even aware of all species of birds. A very commedable informative series. I love this series dear Unniji.
You may invite your wife to read my series, sir. Thank You.
I am so happy that you liked this series. I am an ardent bird-watcher and arrange artificial nests in my compound, trees and shrubs wherever possible. I continue to read about birds, Salim Ali, Induchoodan etc. But I don't keep any of them captive.
Female Hornbill seals the mouth of its nest in the cavities of tall trees with mud while she sits in incubation of her egg, while the male bird fetches her food and feeds her. She comes out only when the egg hatches and the baby-birds are out.
The hornbills are mostly very colourful and beautiful, except this one. Why so?
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem
Ah, dear poet Unnikrishnan, everything should be taught in poetic form! You brought this wonderful knowledge of these birds into a beautiful format!
Thank you very much. My gratitude