Ingo Waschkies’ studies of a Great Hornbill (Buceros bicronis) handling a small fig were documented in March 2009 in Khao Yai, Thailand.
The hornbill has a massive bill that ends in a sharp pointed tip. The slightly serrated bill helps the bird to properly grip fruits, especially small figs. Once effectively gripped at the tip (above), a slight flick of the head helps send the fig into the mouth (below).
Figs are an important staple for hornbills, more so during the breeding period as they provide the necessary calcium for the females in the production of eggshells. Calcium is also necessary for the chicks to grow their bones, tissues and feathers.
This post is a cooperative effort between NaturePixels.org and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.