Great Argus’s fascinating courtship display

As we could see from our recent, amazingly rare wild elephant footage, the breath-taking nature of Khao Sok has really been giving its best over the past few months. Although Bang Chong channel currently boasts an abundance of wild elephants, we did retrieve other delightful footage too!

The fauna of Khao Sok National Park includes over 300 bird species. Some of the most renowned species found here are the Great Hornbill and Great Argus, both considered “near threatened” on the IUCN Red list. You can only imagine how thrilled we were to find footage of both of these species on our motion triggered cameras. Whereas we have had some Argus Pheasants passing by our cameras in the past, we have never seen such a delicate and fascinating courtship display before!

Great Hornbills spotted close to Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp

The Great Argus has gotten its name from a hundred-eyed giant in Greek mythology, as the male pheasant’s wings have a unique pattern resembling a countless number of eyes. When beginning one of the animal kingdom’s most remarkable displays, the Argus male clears an open spot in the forest and prepares a dancing ground. The male then attracts a female with loud calls, and dances around her with his wings spread into two enormous fans. This is when the hundreds of “eyes” on the wings are revealed, while his real eyes are hidden behind, staring at her. Although often believed otherwise, the Great Argus is monogamous.

Another wonderful find on our recent footage was the Great Hornbill, one of the most famous bird species in South East Asia. Some of our lucky guests visiting the Rainforest Camp at the pristine Cheow Larn lake can see these amazing large birds (150cm wingspan) flying over the floating tents. However, seeing them up close, feasting on earth worms is a whole nother story. According to the local research center, it is very uncommon to see the Great Hornbill descend to the forest floor, and this is exactly what happened right in front of our camera trap!

To conclude this extraordinary parade of Khao Sok fauna, we are pleased to share a final video with other wildlife; a large troop of Stump-tailed Macaques, as well as a Clouded Leopard and Asian Golden Cat. Excited of the latest footage, we can’t wait to see what this unique part of the world has yet to offer! Although we did loose a couple of cameras to wild elephant attacks and humidity, we are still putting a lot of effort on this project and have quite a few cameras recording new footage as we speak.

By gathering information on the flora and fauna in Khao Sok, we believe we can help the National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries with their continuous efforts on preserving this unique area. Please contact us at [email protected] to discuss how you can participate!

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