The common name of this
hornbill derives from the coloration of the males
-- rufous head and underparts, with black back
and wings; females are dark brown to black all
over. There is a ring of bare, blue skin around
the red eyes, and the bill is yellow with black
and white barcode-like stripes.
Both males and females call
with loud kup or kok notes.
Distribution and Habitat
This hornbill is found in
mature, dense, evergreen and broadleaf forests of
Bhutan, Myanmar, China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam
and northeast India. It is most commonly found
between 1,800 and 5,400 feet, but has been known
to appear down to about 450 feet. There is
evidence that some populations make seasonal
movements between forested areas in response to
variations in the abundance of fruiting trees.
Habitat destruction and hunting
have dramatically reduced populations in the
wild, and many populations survive only by virtue
of national parks and/or preserves.
Rufous-necked hornbills usually
travel widely in search of fruiting trees. They
use the tips of their beaks like forceps to pluck
fruit (nutmegs, pears and figs being favored),
and they supplement their diet with lizards, mice
and nestling birds.
The female uses her droppings
to cement herself into a tree hole, leaving only
a narrow slit through which the male provides
food and the female defecates. Two or three eggs
are laid in April and incubated through the dry
season (about 125 days). After the eggs hatch,
she breaks out of the cavity and replasters the
entrance behind her. Both parents then feed the
chicks until they are ready to fly.
genus & species Aceros nipalensis
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