Feeding the brood
This painting is of a female Great Indian Hornbill flying over the forest canopy, taking food to her young.
The great hornbills are beautiful and magnificent birds and are unique in many ways. The male seals the female in the nest, leaving just a feeding slit for the duration of nesting and once sealed, he has to provide food for her while she is incubating the eggs. During this period, the female undergoes a complete moult, When the chicks start to hatch, he continues to bring food to the female which she feeds to the chicks.
He only releases her when the nest gets too crowded with the young growing bigger. Once she comes out, she is still dependent on him till her flight feathers grow out and she can help him in the feeding of the chicks. As soon as the female emerges from the nest, the half-grown chicks seal it again.
They form monogous pairs and prefer old (unlogged) forests and large, tall, old trees, especiallly emergents that rise above the canopy. Their wingbeats are loud and have been compared to the sound of helicopter blades. Due to habitat loss and some hunting, the great hornbill is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
(Artwork is currently on gallery wrapped canvas and unframed. The painting can be shipped rolled up or streched. Shipping on actuals.)