Friday, September 7, 2012

Knobbed Hornbill

Aceros cassidix (male)
The Knobbed Hornbill is a large Hornbill that is endemic to the lowland forests of Indonesia. They are primarily herbivores, and feed on fruits and berries. They also will snatch up the occasional insect.

Knobbed Hornbills are monogamous, often for life, and are usually found in pairs. Both sexes have large yellow bills and pale blue skin around the eyes and throat. Males have a very large red casque on their heads, and light colored feathers on the neck. Females are smaller in size over, have short yellow casques, and black necks.

The Knobbed Hornbills have an interesting nesting style. When it comes time to mate, the pair will build a nest inside of a tree cavity. The female will then enter that cavity and be sealed in with a wall of mud, saliva, and other debris. A small hole will be left in the wall to pass in food and to keep the nest clean. The male will  spend more than four months slipping regurgitated food into the nest for his mate and their offspring. When his food supply is not enough, the female will break out, leaving the chicks inside to be fed and kept safe for a few more weeks!

One other fun fact that I found about these birds is that they are sometimes referred to as "Year Birds" by the locals. This name references the red stripe-plates on the sides of the bills, which were thought to identify the bird's age. In truth, those plates can fall off and be replaced, so they aren't very good indicators!

IUCN Status : Vulnerable
Location : Indonesia
Size :  Length up to 3ft (.9m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Coraciiformes
Family : Bucerotidae -- Genus : Aceros -- Species : A. cassidix

1 comment:

  1. They're very beautiful! It's so lovely how they work together as couples.


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