Sulawesi Hornbill

Scientific Name
Penelopides exarhatus
Conservation Status
Vulnerable (VU)

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Wikipedia Article

The Sulawesi Hornbill (Penelopides exarhatus), also known as the Sulawesi Tarictic Hornbill, Temminck's Hornbill or Sulawesi Dwarf Hornbill, is a relatively small, approximately 45 cm long, black hornbill. The male has a yellow face and throat, and black-marked yellowish-horn bill. The female has an all black plumage and a darker bill. An Indonesian endemic, the Sulawesi Hornbill is distributed in the tropical lowland, swamps and primary forests of Sulawesi and nearby islands, from sea-level to altitude up to 1,100 metres. There are two subspecies of the Sulawesi Hornbill. The nominate subspecies, P. e. exarhatus, occurs in northern Sulawesi. The second subspecies, P. e. sanfordi is found in central, east and south Sulawesi, Buton and Muna Island. The Sulawesi Hornbill is a social species that lives in groups of up to 20 individuals. It is believed that only the dominant pair breeds, while the remaining members of the group act as helpers. The diet consists mainly of fruits, figs and insects. The female seals itself inside a tree hole for egg-laying. During this time, the male and helpers will provide food for the female and the young. Widespread and common throughout its native range, the Sulawesi Hornbill is evaluated as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This species is one of the tarictic hornbills that is doing better in zoos. There are three collections currently breeding the birds: Whipsnade (England), Avifauna (the Netherlands) and San Diego (USA). At Whipsnade the birds are kept in the bird garden area whereas at San Diego they have two pairs. One pair is in the walk-through Parker Aviary and the other in a small nearby aviary.