Attacked by
The Hornbill!

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It had been a long hard day of scuba diving and all Dave wanted to do was to relax and read for a while.
Suddenly, the torpid quiet of the afternoon was shattered.
The Hornbill had come to call...


Oh no, not THE HORNBILL again!

 There's just no rest to be had
with The Hornbill around!


tickle, tickle, tickle

 Don't get me wrong, Dave loves birds;
it's just that this was his vacation and
he had traveled half-way around the
world to a remote island in Papua,
Indonesian New Guinea.

Couldn't a guy just get a
little peace and quiet?



Dave's vision of an idyll without the responsibilities of entertaining our delightful feathered friends was soon re-adjusted to allow for the determined intrusion of the resident Papuan Hornbill (Aceros plicatus), called "Flippy" by the dive camp's owner and "Putri" by the Papuan staff.



The Hornbill lives in a tropical paradise. Native to the Raja Ampat Islands, she was rescued as a chick by Max Ammer, the owner of Papua Diving, and hand-raised by him and his staff. At eight months of age in 12/02, she lives between the captive and wild worlds. She enjoys the comraderie and free food that domestication offers, yet has free access to the bounty of the forest- and there are those wild hornbills that croak and swoop just above the canopy of fringing coconut palms. The wild hornbills fly by the dive camp mornings and evenings. Perhaps she will join her wild brethren some day... but for now, there are people to molest!


The Hornbill flies anywhere she darn well pleases as there are no closed doors nor windows at the dive camp on Kri Island.
She even flies out to the very end of the long jetty!

It's early morning on Kri Island;
do you know where The Hornbill is?

Ahah! She spies a person, groggy
with sleep, but still is a moving target!



A favorite activity; helping a human to brush its beak, errrr teeth!


"Pass the mouthwash..."


"Another lousy day in Paradise..."

There are rumors in the camp that The Hornbill has stolen the underwear once or twice from the room of the Head Divemaster, Otto.
There's even word that The Hornbill caused Otto's television to fall off a table once!
I hate when that happens.

The puppy has finally grown bold enough to approach The Hornbill...


The Hornbill soon shows the puppy just WHO rules THIS island!



One day, I was taking a nice still life portrait of drying fish. All of a sudden, the tranquility of the scene was again shattered by the swoop of wings... The Hornbill had arrived. She spread her wings and began to sun herself in this choice location.



"It's early morning again, anyone up in there yet?"



"Just in time for the morning brush...


...hey there's a moth stuck in my upper mandible..."



"I can help you out there with that
blister from your fins..."


"Can you see me now?"



"Oh the temptation!"



"Man, I'm just itchin' to go wake him up!"


In the early mornings, The Hornbill would enter our room to eat the moths that had
settled on our hanging clothing during the night. Then she would settle in for
a little siesta before breakfast in the dining room.


The Hornbill loved to be fed at breakfast and lunch, enjoying meals of fried eggs, rice, noodles, papaya, mango, snake fruit, bananas, and whatever else was left over from the kitchen.

She also delighted in stealing whole tomatoes and potatoes,
flying out the kitchen window and out over the ocean,
to the chagrin of the kitchen staff!


 Anybody seen any potatoes or tomatoes out there?

(Can you see the parrot in this photo?)



The Hornbill has no need for such foolishness as sunglasses!

photo by David A. Venanzi
I grew rather attached to The Hornbill!



Damn, I miss that rascally bird but I am warmed by the thought that she is
there in her Paradise, guarding the dive gear, ruling the dive camp,
and greeting the new victims, I mean guests!

All photographs on this web site are by Gail J. Worth (unless otherwise noted) and are copyrighted.
They may not be reproduced by any method without written permission.

Papua Diving, Paradise FOUND!

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