We were recently visited by a local indigenous community member with the exciting news that a hornbill nest had been found. This is part of a scheme that pays local community members for providing information on hornbill nests so we can then monitor their breeding behaviour.
Thanks to Pak Ajer we were taken to a nest tree that turned out to contain a female Bushy-crested Hornbill Anorrhinus galeritus and at least one chick. When ready to lay eggs, the female will seal herself into a tree hole using mud, leaving a small hole through which she can receive food. Female hornbills must rely on their mate to provide food for her and the chicks. However, for the Bushy-crested Hornbill, it is not only the male that provides food but also offspring from previous years.
We have been able to sit and watch this wonderful spectacle for many hours, seeing several birds delicately passing fruit through the hole to the waiting female. Pak Ajer told us that this nest had been active for around 4 weeks, which means we expect the female and chicks to break out from the nest in another 8-9 weeks.