Palawan Hornbill

Anthracoceros marchei

Red List Status: VU – Vulnerable, criteria A2cd+3cd+4cd (IUCN 2021)

Distribution: Endemic to the Philippines; occurs on Palawan and some nearby smaller islands including Balabac and Busuanga, and Calauit and Culion in the Calamian group. 

Description: 55 cm. Male 580-920 g. Medium-sized hornbill; all-black except for white tail and blue skin around eye and throat. Male has a large creamy bill with black base on lower mandible and a large casque with projected front end. The female is like the male except for smaller bills and casques. Juvenile has an even smaller, paler bill with grey base. This is the only hornbill in the Palawan island group, so confusion with other birds is not possible. 

Voice: Especially vocal early morning and late evening; the voice is a shrill raucous caaaww or more usually kreek-kreek

Audio from xeno-canto

Habits: Found in primary and secondary rainforest, also ventures into adjacent mangroves and nearby cultivation to feed, from the lowlands up to 900 m elevation. A vocal bird and conspicuous when it feeds in small groups in the canopy of trees; also moves lower and even drops to the ground. The food is mainly fruits but no detailed information as to fruit species is available; some animal prey such as insects and lizards has been recorded. Probably sedentary within fairly small range.