Hornbill losing patience
Dhanu had discovered where the great hornbills congregated and trekked the 22 kilometres to get there as often as possible. One day, a Nilgiri langur sat down opposite this bird as it was preening. As the hornbill flapped its annoyance and the langur retreated, Dhanu quickly framed the bird in striking profile, its magnificent wings outstretched.
Great hornbills prefer areas with large trees, like the Anaimalai Hills, and are often found nesting in tree cavities. Eye-catching hollow horns, or casques, top their large curved beaks. Sometimes used by male hornbills to clash with rivals in spectacular aerial ‘casque-butting’ displays, they are prized by hunters.
Canon EOS 7D Mark II; 100–400mm f4.5–5.6 lens at 400mm; 1/8000 sec at f6.3 (−1 e/v); ISO 1250.
Anaimalai Hills, Valparai, Tamil Nadu, India
Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
Love this image?
Choose your favourite from this year's collection. You can only choose once.
Dhanu Paran, India
Dhanu grew up in Pollachi, India, and has been taking photographs since he was 10 years old.