Krabi Shopkeepers Make Exotic Friend and Customer

The local friendly hornbill Wednesday in Krabi City.

KRABI — Wanida Rodmin, the 52-year-old owner of a made-to-order eatery near Krabi City’s Talad Kao Intersection has an unusual regular: a hornbill bird.

Wanida said she first served the impressively beaked diner in July, when he flew in and perched on her shop’s roof. She threw some food to the bird, who ate it and has since returned every day for breakfast.

“The bird trusts me and doesn’t fly away when I give him food,” Wanida said Wednesday. “He perches on the metal railing next to my shop now.”

The hornbill has become a familiar face to local shopkeepers.

The hornbill wasn’t always a freeloader, Wanida said. A local resident tried to keep the bird as a pet but had to free it because it is a legally protected species. Wanida suspects the 1- to 2-year-old hornbill’s familiarity with humans caused him to fly into the city center rather than out into the wild.

“If you see him, please don’t shoot or harm him,” she said.

The hornbill perches on electrical lines Wednesday in Krabi City.
The hornbill eats fruit outside of a 7-Eleven.
Wanida Rodmin, 52, chats with her hornbill friend.