Pairi Daiza Foundation


Papuan Hornbill

Calao Papou - Pairi Daiza

An hornbill from New Guinea

The Papuan Hornbill is part of the local population’s religious and mythological traditions. Its head, the beak and the tail feathers – have always been – and still are - incorporated into headdresses, earrings and feather ornaments.

In New Guinea, the men of the Dani and Asmat tribes use the upper part of the beak as “penis-shafts” called koteka.

The woodcarvers of the Asmat tribe in the south of New Guinea represent the species on their famous “totems”: large “Bisj poles” up to seven metres tall, carved in a single piece of tree trunks and found in every village of this area.

There is a marked sexual dimorphism in this species: the female has a black head and neck whereas the male is bigger and has a head and neck covered in russet-red and gold plumage.

When these hornbills fly in pairs, over the treetops, their calls and the rustling of their wings can be heard from far.

 Calao Papou - Pairi Daiza
Identity card

A less threatened species

  • Name : Papuan Hornbill
  • Latin name : Rhyticeros plicatus
  • Origin : North of Molucas, New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago
  • IUCN status : Least concerned
  • Cites : Appendix II

Sponsor the Papuan Hornbill

Sponsorship amounts are exclusively for the Pairi Daiza Foundation for projects for the conservation and protection of threatened species.

Je parraine le Calao papou