Education & Conservation

Home   > Education & Conservation   > About Rhinoceros Hornbill ( Click- Readmore )

About Rhinoceros Hornbill ( Click- Readmore )


Scientific name: Buceros rhinoceros

Family: bucerotidae
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Aves
Higher classification: buceros
Conservation status: Near Threatened (Population deceasing)

The rhinoceros hornbill is a large species of forest hornbill. In captivity it can live for up to 35 years. It is found in lowland and montane, tropical and subtropical climates and in mountain rain forests up to 1,400 metres in Borneo, Sumatra, Java, the Malay Peninsula, Singapore, and southern Thailand. 


Mainly fruits (especially figs), and occasionally small mammals and reptiles.


Rhinoceros Hornbills (like other hornbills) practice one of the most ingenious nesting rituals of any bird. When the female is ready to lay her eggs, she goes into a hollow tree cavity and helps the male seal the entrance with a paste made of fruit, mud, and faeces. The pair leaves only a small slit, through which the male feeds the female (and later the chicks) for the next four to five months. The female keeps the inside of the nest cavity clean by pushing uneaten food and faecal matter back out through the same slit. When the chicks are about three months old, the female breaks herself out -- and both parents and offspring collaborate to re-seal the chicks inside for another three months. Both parents continue to care for the chicks until they are old enough to break out of the nest on their own and fly free.

Unique feature

The Rhinoceros Hornbill has one of the largest and most impressive casque.  A casque is the large head ornamentation that looks almost like a second bill atop a hornbill head, and is what inspired the Rhinoceros Hornbill common name. Throughout the bird lifetime, it rubs its beak and casque against an oil gland under its tail to gradually produce the glossy red-yellow-orange colour that is so striking in adult birds.