Silhouetted against the grey monsoon sky are my favourite neighbours, The Hornbills. They used to live deep inside the foliage of a tree little away from my house but now it appears that they have shifted closer. We used to hear them arguing amongst themselves in their harsh voice every morning but I had never seen them. They seemed to be strictly following the saying “Hornbills are to be heard, not seen” just like, “Children are to be seen, not heard”. I had been trying to locate them from their call using my abilities of ‘shabdhavedhi’ but had only been successful in making a reasonable guess of the tree from which the noise was coming.
These days I see them occasionally on another tree closer to my house when they fly from one branch to another. My wife said that she once found one of them pecking at our windowpane and was forced to shoo him/her off and protect our property. Good neighbours, as long as they don’t break our windows. May be they saw the sunbird and the robin doing it and thought that they would pitch in and help their friends in breaking the glass.
Today I was lucky to find one of them sitting on a bear branch and with a clear background and rushed for the camera. It remained seated as if posing for the picture and I got a decent one considering that the bird was about 80 feet away and that I had to use the full zoom of my autofocus. Only after transferring the picture on to the computer screen I found that I had got the spouse also! If you too have missed the second one at first look, check the fork right below for a curved beak pointing in the opposite direction.