Two vibrant, yellow-and-black birds, perched on a tree take off and interact in aerial jousting. Photographer Okay A Dhanuparan captures the second and the freeze body wins him a grand prize and ‘Outback Photographer of the 12 months 2021’ award on the third annual images competitors for youth. The competitors organised by the Outback Expertise in affiliation with Sanctuary Nature Basis for under-25 wildlife photographers, affords a platform for younger artistic minds in children and teenagers class (between 10 and 17) and younger adults (18 to 25). They will take part in classes like mammals (portrait & behaviour), birds (portrait & behaviour), panorama, the macro world and concrete wildlife. Wildlife photographer and movie maker Giri Cavale selects the winners.

Dhanuparan captured a novel behaviour of the good hornbills, one of many bigger members of the hornbill household. Probably the most distinguished characteristic of the fowl is the intense yellow and black casque on prime of its large invoice. Male hornbills bask in territorial ‘casque butting’ (hanging one another in flight in a duel) over a feminine or some territory.

Dhanuparan reconstructs the second. “ I’ve been visiting the forest periphery close to Valparai to shoot footage for the documentary on the Anaimalai Tiger Reserve which I’m making presently. There’s a fig tree the place the hornbills congregate to feed on berries. The males, whereas nonetheless in flight mid-air, clashed the casques loudly and repeated the behaviour each few seconds earlier than they flew away.”

Dhanuparan has captured the Malabar gray hornbill, Malabar pied hornbill (each endemic to the Western Ghats), the Indian gray hornbill and the endangered Narcondam hornbill (with a velvet black plumage and outsized yellow beak) endemic to the Narcondam Island in Andamans. His {photograph} of a pair engaged in casque-butting additionally options in September 2020 Cub problem of Sanctuary Asia.

His fascination for these birds began throughout his childhood days when he would go on treks to Valparai forests from his house in Pollachi. “It’s the primary fowl I ever photographed. The sweetness makes you speechless. I’ve photographed nesting, feeding, congregation of 25 hornbills in a single single location… there was no stopping.”

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