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Date:11/28/2014 9:45:42 PM
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Hi Tango
Hi everyone, Happy TGIF. Today we will make a stop in India to visit a strange looking member of the avian world. The Wreathed Hornbill. These majestic birds are seen in Zoos and private collector's aviaries. The Wreathed Hornbill , also known as the Bar-pouched Wreathed Hornbill, is a species of Hornbill found in forests from far north-eastern India and Bhutan, east and south through mainland south-east Asia and the Greater Sundas, except Sulawesi. The Wreathed Hornbill is a large (4-8 pounds) black bird with a yellowish tail, red eyes, and a long, thick beak topped with a small 'wreathed' casque with up to 9 ridges. The male has a bright yellow inflatable throat pouch, while the female's is blue. It is suggested that the casque, which has a spongy hollow core, may serve as a resonating chamber for its harsh barking call, as a form of species recognition, and/or to convey health status. The first two cervical vertebrae are fused to help their neck support the extra weight of the large bill. Their 2nd and 3rd toes are partially fused to help them better grasp tree branches. Using droppings, mud, and fruit pulp, the female hornbill is renowned for walling itself into tree hollows for up to 41/2 months while nesting. The female leaves only a small slit through which its mate must pass all needed foodstuffs until their babies fledge.
The wreathed hornbill is an omnivorous feeder, eating mostly fruit. The male, however, will feed small animals such as bats, reptiles, frogs, crabs, and insects to the females and developing chicks. It can find food from the treetops to the forest floor as well as in water.
Captive breeding the Wreathed Hornbill is difficult but successful once specific requirements are provided. This species is intelligent and sensitive to change and it takse longer to form pairs; young males are vulnerable to bullying by older females; heated accommodation are absolutely necessary and a higher protein diet is needed for them to rear their chicks successfully. These and several other factors make them more difficult to maintain and breed compared to their African counterparts.
Chicks, when available sell to private breeders,and collectors for thousands of dollars each. This fact and their need for massive flights makes them unsuitable except for serious experienced collectors/breeders.
Tomorrow, we once more take a peak inside a nest box to discover what new is hatching inside.
with love and scritches Zeena 255116
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