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Great hornbills form monogamous pairs within small groups of up to 40 birds. Its most distinguishing characteristic is the prominent bright yellow casque on top of its bill. When nesting, the female is sealed in the hollow of a large tree, depending on the male to bring food.
Hornbills are foragers, eating figs and other fruit. They may also feed on insects, small birds and lizards.
India, Thailand and Sumatra
Tribes within the hornbill’s range believe its flesh to have medicinal properties, and the bird’s beak and head are used as charms. Breeding successes in zoos have been few, although Audubon Zoo in New Orleans is the first zoo to have reproduced this species in captivity. Population diversity studies have been attempted.
- Hornbills have been known to eat as many as 150 figs in one meal.
- The male hornbill has red eyes, while the female’s eyes are blue.
- Prey is tossed in the air before it is swallowed.
Animalia, Chordata, Aves,Coraciiformes, Bucerotidae
Place of Birth
Dense old-growth forests
38 – 47 inches long, 5 – 8 lbs.
Mostly black, with a bright yellow casque on its bill