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


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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About Lonely Planet Traveller (UK)

In the Jnuary 2017 issue... It’s time to choose whether to embrace the winter or escape it – and we’ve got a list of great hotels around the world for either option. Among our features this month is a Great Escape to Taiwan, where it never really gets cold; a trip to the west of Iceland to discover this land of sagas; a Perfect Weekend in Riga – Latvia’s charmer of a capital; a snowshoe walk up to an age-old refuge on Switzerland’s Great St Bernard Pass; and much more