Magnificent Rhinoceros hornbill in flight. A beautiful large bird in mid-air contrasted against the blue sky. It is gliding with fully spread wings giving a view of its full body from underneath. An impressive forest Rhinoceros hornbill has a size is 80 – 90 centimeters / 31 – 35 inches. You will find them in rainforests, low land, tropical, and subtropical climates. That Rhinoceros hornbill in-flight glides over the Bornean rainforest. Additionally, you can find them on the Malaysian peninsula, Sumatra, Java, and Thailand. They still traditionally hunt this bird for food, as well as their exquisite feathers. Their horn we call a casque. It is hollow inside, which results in a powerful call. The hollow horn acts as a resonating chamber that allows their cries to echo loudly. These astonishing birds mate for life.
Rhinoceros Hornbill In Flight
Because of their size, these birds cover long distances in their endeavor to find food. During their journey, they transport fruit seeds further afield for germination, earning them the nickname “The Farmers of the Forests.” Unfortunately, these birds are often the victims of poaching. Poachers mistake them for a similar-looking bird called the Helmeted Hornbill. This bird has a solid casque, which is valuable on the black market. Since the casque is hollow, they still kill it these days for nothing. Another threat to them is the logging of forests. It is easy for people to catch them once their habitat is demolished. They sell these beautiful birds for food, as pets, and even as ceremonial dress in indigenous communities.
Rhinoceros hornbill, Buceros rhinoceros, is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN website.