Many rare bird species live in the Philippines. Among them are a variety of hornbills. They all have large bills with a horny growth on top of the upper bill.
The writhed hornbill is also known as the Mindanao wrinkled hornbill. It is endemic to the northeastern corner of Mindanao, as well as neighboring Dinagat and Camiguin.
The scientific name of the writhed hornbill is Aceros leucocephalus. It belongs to the family Bucerotidae and the order Coraciiformes. Like all birds, it belongs to the class Aves and the phylum Chordata.
The writhed hornbill is predominantly black, but the skin of its throat is reddish orange, and it has a circle of reddish orange skin around each eye. In a picture posted by Arkive, a male writhed hornbill has a white head and neck, while the corresponding parts of the female are black. The tail is predominantly white. (Note that leucocephalus comes from two Greek words meaning “white” and “head.” This evidently refers to the white head of the male.)
Its bill is reddish in color, as is its casque. The casque is the bony growth on top of the bird’s upper bill. It is this casque that gives hornbills their common name.
According to BirdLife International, its numbers are declining as a result of hunting, trapping, and deforestation. The species has been bred successfully in captivity.
The rufous-headed hornbill belongs to the same genus as the writhed hornbill. In fact, the two have occasionally been treated as a single species. Its current scientific name is Aceros waldeni. For this reason, another common name of this species is Walden’s hornbill.
The female is predominantly black. The male is distinguished by a reddish head, neck, and upper breast, according to Arkive. Its bill and casque are reddish. Its tail is predominantly white.
The skin around the eyes and on the throat is not covered by feathers. The male rufous-headed hornbill has saffron yellow skin in these exposed places, while the corresponding skin of the females is blue.
According to the IUCN Red List, Aceros waldeni is endemic to Guimaras, Negros, and Panay, three of the Visayan Islands between the large northern island of Luzon and the large southern island of Mindanao. It has apparently died out on the island of Guimaras. Like the writhed hornbill, the rufous-headed hornbill likes undisturbed forest with a protective canopy overhead. Unfortunately, this type of habitat is diminishing on all three of these islands, so Aceros waldeni is considered a critically endangered species. Poaching has also been a problem.
Palawan is a Philippine province consisting of a large island called Palawan and smaller nearby islands. Palawan is farther west than Luzon, Mindanao, and the Visayan Islands.
The Palawan hornbill is endemic to the island of Palawan and a few of the small islands in the province.
The scientific name of the Palawan hornbill is Anthracoceros marchei. It also belongs to the family Bucerotidae and the same higher taxa as the writhed hornbill and the rufous-headed hornbill. Its Philippine common name is talusi.
According to Arkive, it has black plumage that forms a stark contrast with its white tail and its pale ivory-yellow bill. The bare skin around its eyes and on its throat is white tinged with blue. The bills and casques of the female are grayish in color.
It likes forest habitat, but it has also been seen at the edge of forests and in mangroves, cultivated land, and bush lands, according to BirdLife International. It eats fruit, insects and small lizards.
Because its numbers have been declining, the Palawan hornbill is classified as vulnerable.
Tarictic hornbills belong to the genus Penelopides. According to some authorities, Penelopides panini includes all Philippine tarictic hornbills. Others divide Penelopides panini into several species. Birds in this genus belong to the same family and higher taxa as other hornbills. (The term “tarictic” is derived from the cry of these species.)
Penelopides panini, in its more restricted sense, is the Visayan tarictic hornbill. It lives on several Visayan Islands, especially Panay and Negros. Males and females differ from one another in various ways. Most significantly, the female is predominantly black. In contrast, while the male also has plenty of black feathers, its head, neck, and upper breast are whitish and its lower breast and vent are rufous, according to BirdLife International. It is classified as endangered, which is worse than vulnerable but not as bad as critically endangered.
Penelopides manillae, the Luzon tarictic hornbill, is endemic to Luzon and the neighboring islands of Catanduanes and Marinduque. It is not an endangered species at the present time.
Penelopides affinis, the Mindanao tarictic hornbill, is endemic to Mindanao, as well as the neighboring islands of Basilan, Dinagat, and Siargao. It is not currently regarded as an endangered species.
Penelopides samarensis, the Samar hornbill, is endemic to several of the Visayan Islands, especially Samar, Leyte, and Bohol. It is classified as endangered, according to BirdLife International.
Penelopides mindorensis, the Mindoro tarictic hornbill, is endemic to the island of Mindoro. It is classified as endangered, according to BirdLife International.
The rufous hornbill is also known as the Philippine hornbill. Its scientific name is Buceros hydrocorax. The genus Buceros is the type genus of the family Bucerotidae.
According to ITIS. this species is subdivided into three subspecies: Buceros hydrocorax hydrocorax, Buceros hydrocorax mindanensis, and Buceros hydrocorax semigaleatus. The three races have different ranges and different physical characteristics. For example, the bill of Buceros hydrocorax hydrocorax is completely red, while the front part of the bills of the other subspecies are pale yellow, according to Flickr.
This species enjoys a more extensive range than some of the other Philippine hornbill species. It lives in Luzon, Mindanao, and several of the Visayan Islands, plus a few islands south of Mindanao.
The rufous hornbill is the largest hornbill in the Philippines. Its Philippine common name is kalaw.
It nests in a cavity of a tree. The female stays in the nest to incubate the eggs and care for the hatchlings. The male supplies the female and the young birds with food. This procedure is characteristic of other species of hornbills, according to Avian Web
The species is classified as near threatened, according to the IUCN Red List. Like other hornbill species, it is plagued by hunting and habitat loss.