Wreathed Hornbills

These big, unusual birds native to Africa and Asia might look like toucans (which are native to South America) but are actually thought to be closer to kingfishers, rollers and bee-eaters.

Hornbills are named for their large curved bill that often has a large protrusion on top called a casque. There are over 50 known species of hornbills, presented here are male and female Wreathed Hornbills.

wreathed hornbill pair painting

Wreathed Hornbills, native to Southeast Asia, are named after the ridges around the base of their bill called “wreathes”. Males have a yellow throat pouch while the female’s throat pouch is blue.

They’re omnivorous but mainly eat fruits, especially figs. They weigh around 4-8 lbs (2-3.6 kg) and measure 30-35 inches (75-88 cm) in height.

Wreathed Hornbills live around 30-40 years, but can live to be 50 in human care, and mate for life. The female lays up to three eggs in a tree cavity, and the entrance is then sealed up with mud. This helps prevent predators from getting to her and the eggs. The male feeds her through a slit in the nest entrance. Once the chicks hatch, the female then breaks out of the tree cavity with her large bill.

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