Nick Russo weighs a black-casqued hornbill in the Dja Reserve in Cameroon while guide Luc Mbembo waits to assist with tagging the bird.

A Harness For a Hornbill

Nick Russo is wearing one sock and holding a small dinosaur. For a few moments it is settled in his arms, wings held tightly against its body, and then it erupts with a squawk-squeal-scream that hurts my ears and makes me think of Laura Dern.

A tiny Icarus tracker is positioned on the hornbill’s back before the harness is fitted. Photo by Peter Houlihan.

Jer Thorp is an artist, writer & teacher. He is Innovator-in-Residence at the Library of Congress. His book Living in Data is out now from MCDxFSG.