Here in big, beautiful Borneo, there are a couple of wildlife wonders that will come to mind when the topic about “Love” is mentioned. These wildlife fit perfectly into that category mostly for their loving personality and attributes. But amongst all of them, we think that there’s no other wildlife that speaks the language of love as fluently as the hornbill birds.
Here in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo alone, we have eight species of hornbill birds, which includes the rhinoceros hornbill, helmeted hornbill, wrinkled hornbill, white-crowned hornbill, oriental pied hornbill, Asian black hornbill, bushy-crested hornbill and wreathed hornbill. Phew! What a list!
The amazing hornbill birds are the epitome of what “Love” truly is and here’s why:
1. They stay with the same partner all their life
Though some species do carry out cooperative breeding, the hornbills are generally known to be monogamous. Meaning, they choose a mate that they will stick to their entire living and breathing existence! So there’s really no funny business when it comes to choosing a life partner for these love birds. If you want to know what a “power couple” looks like, do take a look at a pair of hornbills starting a family. You would be in awe!- And maybe just a tinge jealous at the kind of love the love birds share.
2. They are a close-knitted bird family
Family means everything to the hornbills, and Mummy and Daddy Hornbill will always keep their little ones close. They fly together, sleep together, eat together, and perch on branches together. Well, you know what they say? A family that does everything together, stays together!
3. Male hornbills offer food to show their love and affection
If there’s one thing that a man can do right, it’s bringing the ladies some yum-yums! A way to someone’s heart is through their stomach doesn’t just work for the males, apparently. The male hornbill brings food to the female as a way to prove that he is capable of providing for her and their chicks when they start a family together. An example of a love-offering from a male to a female hornbill is a monitor lizard- They love it!
4. Daddy Hornbill works super hard to provide for his family
Once Mummy hornbill has completed their nest and the nesting period commences, her partner goes out in search for sustenance throughout the period of four months. It’s really intense because the male is the sole-provider and the only means of survival for his partner and babies. He will really take care of the well-being his family, flying day in and day out a couple of times in a day just to make sure they have enough. Should anything bad happen to the Daddy Hornbill, mother and babies will not survive.
Aren’t the hornbills remarkable, or what?
As mentioned before, there are eight species of hornbills which can be found in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, making it an ideal destination for birding enthusiasts who are keen to check those birds off their birding list. These birds are not situated in just one specific location, which requires you to go around different parts of Sabah to get a glimpse of them. It would make for a great birding-hunt in Borneo in search of these guys.
Just remember to bring along a pair of reliable and great quality binoculars if you truly want to experience Borneo’s avifauna at its best!