Rhinoceros Hornbill Facts
Life – A rhinoceros hornbill can live up to 30 to 35 years. The colorful Rhinoceros Hornbill is a large species (80 to 90 cm) of forest Hornbill.
Where it Lives – The Rhinoceros Hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros) bird mostly found in tropical and subtropical climates of lowland and montane. The rhinoceros bird can find a mountain of the rainforest up to 1,200 meters in Sumatra, Java, Singapore, Malay Peninsula, Borneo, and Southern Thailand.
Size – The average size of a large rhinoceros bird is approximately 30 to 35 inches long.
Weight – The rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros) weighing around 2,450 to 2,980 g, however, females’ weight is a little less to around 2,020 to 2,350 g.
Plumage – The rhino bill plumage is mainly black, with white legs, and vent, and a black band with whitetail. The big bill and casque are habitually orange to red, from preen oil rubbed on from the preen gland above the tail. The eyes of the male bird are normally red with black rims and white with red rims in the female bird.
Food – The rhinobill preferred diet is fruit. However may also prey on little insects, rodent, small reptile, eat arthropods, lizards, frogs, bird eggs, and smaller birds.
Breeding – The female rhinobill has faith in the male to deliver her everything during incubating and raising chicks. Female stays inside the nest with the eggs and after the incubations, the male’s responsibility to bring the food for her and the chicks.
Nest – Rhinoceros Hornbill normally makes their nest inside the hollow tree trunks. Once the nest ready and eggs are laid in them, the male hornbill collects mud, and both pack that mud with food and feces, to seal the entrance to the tree cavity. Usually, they leave a small hole in it, just big enough for the male passes through a vertical slit, to feed the female and chicks.
The female bird lays 1 or 2 eggs, usually takes 36-to-46 days to incubate and the baby fledges 85-to-96 days after the eggs are laid. Once the baby birds are fully feathered and big in size to leave the nest, both parents chip away the dry mud to let the chicks out.
Threats – The rhinoceros hornbill encounters many different threats, including hunting for its meat, its skull & feathers, and loss of rainforest habitats. Also, the loss of big trees due to habitat destruction is another reason for declining the number of hornbills. Therefore, poachers easily find the rhinobill and shot them. Hence, these are the main threats; the hornbill is being uplisted to vulnerable from near threatened on the IUCN Red List in 2018.
Beak – Rhinoceros Hornbill beak is a marvel of God, versatile, and frivolous. The bird performs different things with its beak such as chewing food, nest building, sealing the nest, feeding the baby. On the top of the golden-yellow beak, cumbersome casque (hollow helmet-like structure) supports amplifying their calls.
Song – Sounds – Calls
The male bird distinguishes the deep forceful huk, huk, notes while the female blessed with hak hak notes. On a few occasions, both have a duet. Sometimes, vocals consist of low, resonant calls, more often than not in series: either a single-syllabled “rohh” or a disyllabic “roh-ow.” Normally, Rhinoceros Hornbill call during their territory defends from other breeding pairs. Both usual tie-ups for life.
Fun Fact – The majestically beautiful rhinoceros hornbill is the national bird of Malaysia.