The national bird of Malaysia is rhinoceros hornbill. Malaysia declared it as their official bird back in the 90s. The distinctive birds belong to the class Aves, and family Bucerotidae and genus Buceros. Their binomial name is Buceros rhinoceros. They belong to the hornbill species and are the largest of them. They mostly live in the Southeast Asian region and are shy to human populations and civilization. The number of rhinoceros hornbill populations is decreasing, and they are on the watch list of animal preservation authorities worldwide. The rhinoceros hornbills have a long beak and a horn that is rare in any of the bird’s species except hornbills. They have a beautiful yellow and golden horn, the horn is called casque in English. The horn is used to increase the pitch and sound of the call made by rhinoceros hornbill.
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The body is bulky with along tail, their size is equal with that of aswan. An adult rhinoceros hornbill on average weight about 2-3 kg. their length may reach up to 122 cm, the average duration of a fully grown rhinoceros hornbill is 100 cm. Their habitat is mostly in eastern Asia, they live at the altitude of 1400 meters. They have dark blackish feathers on wings and body, the breast is entirely covered with feathers. The tail feathers consist of black and white pigmented feathers.
[table caption=”Rhinoceros hornbill Features” width=”500″]
5,Mass Male, 2–3 kg
6,Mass Female, 2–3 kg
7,Body Length,36–48 in
The primary diet of rhinoceros hornbill which is the National Bird of Malaysia comprises of seeds, fruits, and insects. The secondary diet may include smaller birds and reptiles i.e. snakes and lizards. They usually nest in trees, they either built their own nest with their beaks or occupy the abundant nests. The opening of the nest is filled with mud and other resources to protect the eggs and chicks. The female hatch 3-4 eggs and went into the nest for incubation. Male collects all the food during the incubation period and after birth. The incubation period is longer than most of the birds; it may exceed up to 3 months. The seal outside the nest is only broken when the chicks are able to look for themselves. Here are some of the interesting facts about rhinoceros hornbills:
Interesting Facts About National Bird Of Malaysia :
- Male and female rhinoceros hornbills mate for life, divorces are uncommon in hornbills.
- When the chicks are born, their parents seal them inside the nest and provide them food until they are robust enough to break the barrier for freedom.
- The horns of rhinoceros hornbills are made of keratin, the same substance of which human fingernails are made.
- The average lifespan of rhinoceros hornbill when caged or in captivity is 30-35 years.
- The breed of rhinoceros hornbill is endemic to the rain forests and Islands of Java and Malaysia.
- The males have orange or red irises, female ones have white irises.
- The locals hunted rhinoceros hornbills for centuries for food and medicines, hunting of rhinoceros hornbills is banned in Malaysia due to the ever decreasing populations of the birds.
- The horns of rhinoceros hornbills are used for making expensive jewelry and ornaments.
- The male and female rhinoceros hornbills are of the same size, they do not show sexual dimorphism.
Rhinoceros hornbill Picture