This odd big-beaked bird is the Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis) of SE Asia. It’s a pretty large kingfisher, growing up to 14-15 inches in length. They’re fairly common in the areas they inhabit but after doing some research on these guys I came upon something pretty interesting. There are different races of kingfishers – 15 to be exact; meaning that depending on where the kingfisher lives its plumage pattern might have its own unique look. For example,P. c. gigantea of the Sulu Islands has a white head, neck and underparts.
No matter the race, each Stork-billed Kingfisher uses its huge boat-like beak in the same manner. It will perch on a tree branch, usually about 2-4 m above the water, and wait for an unsuspecting fish to swim by. That’s when it dives straight down to scoop up its dinner. They also eat crabs, insects, frogs, mice, lizards, birds and their eggs. Prey is then brought back up to the perch and whacked senseless until dead.
brandonfrias: BEHOLD THE MANUL!!!
Pallas’s cat (Otocolobus manul), also called the manul, is a small wild cat having a broad but patchy distribution in the grasslands and montane steppe of Central Asia. The species is negatively affected by habitat degradation, prey base decline, and hunting, and has therefore been classified as Near Threatened by IUCN since 2002.
Pallas’s cat was named after the German naturalist Peter Simon Pallas, who first described the species in 1776 under the binomial Felis manul.
Rufous-necked Hornbill (Aceros nipalensis)
… is a species of hornbill in the northeastern Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Numbers have declined significantly due to habitat loss and hunting, and it has been entirely extirpated from Nepal. It is estimated that there are now less than 10,000 adults remaining. With a length of about 117 cm (46 in). It is among the largest Bucerotine hornbills. The underparts, neck and head are rich rufous in the male, but black in the female.
While predominantly a bird of ridged and hilly forests, chiefly broadleaved forests at altitudes of 150–2,200 m (490–7,200 ft), it has also been recorded in dry woodland. The nesting period is from March to June) the trees being preferred are tall and having broad girths. There is evidence to suggest the Rufous-necked Hornbill communities move seasonally between one forested area to another to avail of the differing abundance of fruiting trees due to local conditions…
(read more: Wikipedia)
(photos: T - Kalyanvarma; Mid/B - Ujjal Ghosh)