A spectacular bird

This large hornbill, which is nearly a metre long and weighs up to 3.5 kg, looks really spectacular with its plumage that differs according to its sex, but especially because of its impressive beak that carries a little striated casque on top and a pouch of bare skin which is bright yellow in the male and light blue in the female.

It lives in the primary forests of South-East Asia as far as the Greater Sunda Islands (Sumatra, Borneo and Java), feeding on insects and small reptiles as well as on wild fruit.

As with most hornbills, when breeding period has arrived, the female is literally imprisoned in a tree-cavity, the entrance to which is sealed by the couple – except for a small opening – by means of a solid coating like plaster. The female is completely dependent upon the male during her two months of imprisonment, while she incubates the clutch and raises the fledglings. Once the fledglings have grown their feathers, the female will leave the nest.

Enjoying a large geographical distribution, the species is not threatened, in spite of vanishing forest habitats.

Identity Card

  • Name : Wreathed hornbill
  • Nom latin : Rhyticeros undulatus
  • Origine : South-East Asia, from India to Indonesia
  • IUCN Status : Least concerned
  • Cites : Annexe II