Just after sunset, wild hornbills can be observed feasting on ripe fruits in Borneo’s rainforest trees. Because some hornbill species feed at all layers of the rainforest and fly over large areas, they are important contributors of seed dispersal. But hornbills don’t just feed on fruit – they’re omnivores, gobbling up insects, snakes, lizards, mice and frogs in their native habitat.
Hornbills are beautiful birds, with oversized, curved bills and long eyelashes. They also display a casque atop their bill, a body part that can be hollow or spongelike in structure. Experts believe that a hornbill’s casque amplifies their voice.
While cruising along the Kinabatangan River on a recent wildlife ecotour, I captured this footage of wild hornbills feeding and communicating with one another high up in the trees: