About three months ago, a female Palawan Hornbill “disappeared” in the aviary of Zoo Wroclaw. Keepers suspected the bird was secluding herself in preparation for nest building and egg-laying.
The Zoo’s suspicions were confirmed as the new fledgling recently left the nest! Bird keepers at Zoo Wroclaw estimate the chick hatched around April 20th. The sex of the healthy fledgling is not yet known.
The Palawan Hornbill (Anthracoceros marchei), known as ‘Talusi’ in the Filipino language, is a small (approximately 70 cm/28 in long) forest-dwelling bird.
The plumage is predominantly black, with a white tail. The bird has a dark green gloss on its upper parts and a large creamy-white beak, with a casque typical of the hornbill family. It emits loud calls, which can be transcribed as “kaaww” and “kreik-kreik”.
Nine species of Hornbill are found in the Philippines, and the Palawan Hornbill is endemic to Palawan Island, but has also been recorded on the nearby islands of Balabac, Busuanga, Calauit, Culion and Coron.
The Palawan Hornbill is officially classified as "Vulnerable" by the IUCN, and its numbers have reduced by at least 20% in the last 10 years due to habitat destruction, hunting for food, and the live bird trade.
It is usually seen in pairs or small noisy family groups, and it has a communal roosting site. It is most usually observed in fruiting trees at the forest edge, but also feeds on insects and small reptiles.