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WHERE YOU’VE BEEN AND WHAT YOU’VE SEEN

Great hornbills do not fully develop the distinctive yellow and black casques on the tops of their heads until they are five years old

DARJEELING, INDIA

Catching the prize

I took this photo of a great hornbill on the outskirts of the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary in West Bengal, where I live, this October. It was late in the evening, with a chill in the air, when I spotted this young bird and his parents sitting in a tree enjoying a hearty meal of berries. It was a special moment to me, for several reasons – not only was it the first time I’d seen this beautiful bird, but it was in my hometown, which I hadn’t expected. Taking this photo also fulfilled a long-held wish of mine to capture a bird doing a ‘tossing’ movement, common among hornbills and other species such as pelicans. When I saw it, I couldn’t believe my luck.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - January 2017
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