Bushy Crested Hornbill (Anorrhinus galeritus)

Previously also combined with both Ptilolaemus species in the genus Anorrhinus, and most closely related to them. Population from Malay Peninsular and those from Borneo suggested as separate subspecies but neither are sufficiently distinct.

Size 90 cm. 1134-1247 g. Medium-sized hornbill with all-dark-brown body plumage and bare bluish skin around eye and on throat. Tail is grey-brown with broad, darker tip.

Male has black bill and small casque; female’s bill is yellow with black base and small black casque. First year juvenile resembles adult male, except for paler brown tips to feathers, olive-green bill and yellow skin around eye. Vocal and noisy, the high-pitched, gull-like communal squawking can be heard over a mile away. Alarm call is a short aak-aak-aak.

Ecology and habits

Found in primary tropical rainforest, also mature secondary forest, from the coast into the hills at 750 m elevation, recorded up to 1,800 m. Prefers dense areas with closed canopy and many fruiting trees. It live in noisy and mobile groups of 3-15 birds, rarely up to 20.

It moves through the forest mainly at canopy level flying just short distances from tree to tree, and it feeds inside or just below the canopy. The food is mainly fruits, especially lipid-rich varieties such as Aglaia spectabilis, Dysoxylum spp (Meliaceae), recorded from southern Thailand; about 30 types of fruits have been identified and only about 10% of the diet is figs.

Takes animal food regularly, about 25% of the feeding time is spent actively hunting prey; it searches through the canopies and probes the bark to find cicadas, other invertebrates, lizards and frogs. Members in the group may combine to hunt prey or to chase competitors such as other hornbills, out of fruiting trees.

Sedentary and territorial, there are no reports of movements apart from immatures dispersing.

Breeding ecology

The nesting season is largely a aseasonal but nesting usually happens during periods of abundant food. The nest is a natural cavity in a large forest tree; the dominant female will enter and lay a clutch of 2-3 egg.

In southern Thailand, female seals its nest in Mar in a cavity of&nnbsp;trees of genera Hopea, Shorea (Dipterocarpaceae) and Syzygium (Myrtaceae), and 1-3 chicks fledge in Jun. A pair could breed twice in one year or only every other year.

This species is co-operative during nesting; the dominant pair will breed and the other1-5 birds in the group help out. The incubation period is about 30 days; the female will moult her flight feathers while incarcerated. The female and the chicks are fed by the other group members, mainly males, which regurgitate food at the nest.

The female leaves the nest about a week before the chicks fledge; the nesting period is about 60 days. The entries nesting cycle is 96 days (range 76-121).