Visayan hornbill

Visayan hornbill
Penelopides panini

Photo by Lorenzo Vinciguerra (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
Visayan hornbill (en); calau-de-Visayan (pt); calao tarictic (fr); cálao chico de Panay (es); Visayan-tariktikhornvogel (de)

Order Coraciiformes
Family Bucerotidae

This species is endemic to the Philippines, where it is found in Panay, including the offshore islands of Sicogon and Pan de Azucar, Guimaras, Negros, Masbate and Ticao.

These small hornbills are 45 cm long and weigh 435-485 g.

The Visayan hornbill is mostly found in primary, evergreen, dipterocarp rainforests, sometimes also using nearby secondary forests or isolated fruiting trees. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

They feed mainly on fruits, but also take invertebrates such as beetles, ant alates and earthworms, lizards and even fish.

Visayan hornbills breed in March-June. They breed in isolated pairs or sometimes co-operatively in groups of up to 12 individuals. They nest in natural holes in dead or living trees, about 10 m above the ground. Once the female enters the nest the male seals the entrance with wood flakes and food remains, and will feed the female by regurgitating food through a small opening. Inside the female lays 2-3 eggs which she incubates alone possibly for 30-35 days. The female feeds the chicks with food brought by the male and both female and young leave the nest 55-58 days after the nest was sealed.

IUCN status – EN (Endangered)
This species has a relatively large breeding range but the global population is estimated at just 1.200 individuals. The Visayan hornbill has apparently been extirpated from a number of islands and its decline is suspected to have continued very rapidly, mainly due to deforestation, hunting and trapping for the cage bird trade. At present, possibly less than 5% of the original forest cover remains intact within the species range. No new information has been provided concerning rate of decline, but given that a proportion of remaining habitat is protected and the species is presumably now very rare, declines in the future are unlikely to be as rapid as in the recent past.

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