Rufous-necked Hornbill

Rufous-necked Hornbill
棕颈犀鸟 (zōngjǐng xīniǎo)
Aceros nipalensis
117 cm

In China, the rufous-necked hornbill is found in southeastern Tibet and southern Yunnan (Nangunhe Reserve, Xishuangbanna). Outside China, it ranges from India to Vietnam, favoring large, old-growth forests that are becoming smaller and more fragmented each year. Deforestation and overhunting have led to its classification as vulnerable. The rufous-necked can be found at elevations between 150 m to 2200 m. Varied diet includes figs and pears, crabs, and many small vertebrates. Nests in cavities in large trees, the female sealing herself in for four months. Monotypic. Male has rufous head, neck, and underparts and is black above except for white tips to outer primaries and white lower half of tail. Has sky-blue orbital skin and adjacent area at base of lower mandible; red gular pouch. In female, rufous of male replaced by black. Bill large, dull yellow, with black carvings on maxilla (bill smaller in juvenile; black carvings missing). Casque nearly absent. Feet black; iris brown. Female wreathed hornbill has an all-white tail, a blue gular pouch and red orbital skin, a larger casque, and less marked ridges on bill; female wreathed has corrugated casque, mandible, and maxilla. Barks squeakily and hesitantly, with no cadence; markedly higher-pitched than similar bark of great hornbill. — Craig Brelsford


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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