Hornbill

HORNBILL

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Hornbill Facts

The hornbill is a curious looking bird that is found throughout the Orient as well as in Africa and Australia. There are eleven species of hornbill in Malaysia alone. As the name suggests the hornbill has a large casque which is to be found on the upper mandible.

Most hornbills have black, white or gray plumage but many have strikingly colourful bills. The hornbill is an outstanding bird with regard to the fact that its bones have much larger air spaces than most birds. The bird also has distinctively stout eyelashes, something which is not seen in most birds. The hornbill, however, is not as accomplished a flyer as many other birds. Despite this they are capable of flying long distances.

The Hornbill is the national symbol of Sarawak. The people there view the bird as a symbol of purity. They use either the bird itself or it’s representation in their religious ceremonies. In Sarawak, as in other South East Asian countries, the hornbill is a protected species.

Kingfishers of all three families beat their prey to death, either by whipping it against a tree or by dropping it on a stone.They are able to see well both in air and under water. To do this, their eyes have evolved an egg-shaped lens able to focus in the two different environments.

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