Tuesday, May 16

Wreathed hornbill

   ›      ›   Wreathed hornbill - Rhyticeros undulatus

The wreathed hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) is a large hornbill belonging to the family, Bucerotidae.

The wreathed hornbill species are distributed in India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. These hornbill species are highly dependent on forest and the ongoing deforestation in their habitats is causing decline in their population. These hornbills are monotypic species.

Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Wreathed Hornbill Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Wreathed hornbill - Overview

  • Scientific name: Rhyticeros undulatus
  • Species author: (Shaw, 1811)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Buceros undulatus Shaw, 1811, Aceros undulatus
  • Family: Bucerotidae › Bucerotiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Wreathed hornbill, Chinese: 花冠皱盔犀鸟, French: Calao festonné, German: Furchenhornvogel, Spanish: Cálao gorjinegro, Russian: Волнистый калао, Japanese: シワコブサイチョウ, Indonesian: Burung Julang Emas
  • Other names: Bar-pouched Wreathed Hornbill, Northern Waved Hornbill, Plait-billed Hornbill
  • Distribution: India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei
  • Diet and feeding habits: fruits, small animals
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)
The wreathed hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) is closely related to plain-pouched hornbill (Rhyticeros subruficollis).

Appearance, physical description and identification

The wreathed hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) is a large hornbill, measuring 75 to 85 cm in length. There is sexual dimorphism and the male is slightly larger and weighs 1650 to 3650 grams. The female weighs 1350 to 2700 grams.

In adult wreathed hornbill the overall plumage is blackish. They have black wings and short white tail. Adult birds have prominent corrugated casque. The bill is also corrugated and colored creamy. There is reddish circumorbital skin.

The male wreathed hornbill has rufous brown forehead, crown and nape. The sides of the head, fore neck and upper breast are whitish. There is yellow gular pouch with dark bar. The irises are red.

The female hornbill has black head and neck. The gular pouch is colored blue. The irises are brown. The immature birds appear similar to males and lack casque and corrugation on the bill. The irises are pale blue.

After the first year, the casque and corrugation on the bill develop in young adults. The feet are gray. Their call is loud gasping "uk-hweerk" and “coo-cuk” sound.
Indian birds - Picture of Wreathed hornbill - Rhyticeros undulatus
Birds of India - Image of Wreathed hornbill - Rhyticeros undulatus by Jar0d

Birds of India - Photo of Wreathed hornbill - Rhyticeros undulatus
Indian birds - Picture of Wreathed hornbill - Rhyticeros undulatus by DickDaniels

Indian birds - Image of Wreathed hornbill - Rhyticeros undulatus
Birds of India - Photo of Wreathed hornbill - Rhyticeros undulatus by DickDaniels

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The wreathed hornbill species are distributed in India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.

In India, these hornbill species are distributed in the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura and Mizoram.

Ecosystem and habitat

These wreathed hornbill species have high forest dependence. These species occur in altitudes from 0 to 2560 meters.

The natural ecosystems of these wreathed hornbill species include tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests, primary evergreen forests and tropical and subtropical moist montane forests.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these wreathed hornbill species is mostly fruits. Wild fruits, berries, figs and small animals are their primary food.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these wreathed hornbill species in India is from April to June. The breeding season is from January to March in Myanmar and Thailand. The laying season in Indonesia is from March to September.

These wreathed hornbill species are monogamous and are highly territorial. They nest in tree holes. They prefer the deciduous tree species Tetrameles nudiflora, which have large hollows in the trunk and branches. The same nesting site may be used in consecutive breeding seasons.

The nesting sites disturbed by human activities may be abandoned. Loss of nesting habitat and nesting trees has a direct effect on the breeding success of these wreathed hornbill species.

The breeding female enters the hollow and seals the hole with its droppings, mud and fruit pulp. A small aperture is left for the male to transfer food to the mother and the chicks. The typical clutch contains two or three pale white eggs.

Migration and movement patterns

The wreathed hornbill species are non-migrant resident birds.

Post breeding, the wreathed hornbill juveniles may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding within their range.

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the wreathed hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of this species is considered to be decreasing. Throughout its range it is reported to be locally common. The generation length is 19 years. Its distribution size is about 7,020,000 sq.km.

The wreathed hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion or under the population trend criterion, or under the population size criterion. The ongoing habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation and hunting are the main threats that may endanger the survival of these species.

IUCN and CITES status

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the hornbill species and has listed it as of "Least Concern". The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Evaluated’ for the wreathed hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) and is listed in Appendix II.
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Rhyticeros undulatus
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Bucerotiformes
Family:Bucerotidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Rhyticeros
Species:R. undulatus
Binomial name:Rhyticeros undulatus
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
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1.Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rhyticeros_undulatus_-Diergaarde_Blijdorp_-male-8a.jpg (cropped)
Image author: Jar0d | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 5/16/17
2.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wreathed_Hornbiil_female_RWD.jpg (cropped)
Image author: DickDaniels (http://carolinabirds.org/) | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
3.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wreathed_Hornbill_male_RWD.jpg (cropped)
Image author: DickDaniels (http://carolinabirds.org/) | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
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