Plain-pouched Hornbill

Rhyticeros subruficollis

Red List Status: VU – Vulnerable, criteria A2cd+3cd+4cd (IUCN 2018)

Distribution: Found in south Myanmar, west and south Thailand as well as northern Peninsular Malaysia. Previous reports from northern Myanmar, India and Sumatra, Indonesia and Borneo now considered invalid based on misidentification. 

Description: 75-90 cm. Male 1815-2270 g. Very similar in appearance to the sympatric Wreathed Hornbill, but smaller. The male has a dark reddish base to bill, no ridges on mandibles, and there is no black bar across the yellow pouch. Female is like a female Wreathed except for plain bill (no ridges) and lack of black bar across the blue pouch. Juveniles of both sexes like adult male in plumage, and without a bar across paler yellow pouch, but bill small and pale horn-coloured. 

Voice: The call is a harsh bark; in flight a 3-note ehk-ehk-ehk

Audio from xeno-canto

Habits: Occurs in rainforest and mixed deciduous hill forest, especially along river valleys; mainly in the lowlands, recorded from coastal flats to 1,000 m elevation. It prefers pristine primary forest and seems to avoid disturbed and logged areas. Feeds mainly in the canopy of large forest trees, it has also been known to descend to the ground. Feeds mainly on fruits including Ficus racemosa (Moraceae), Polyalthia spp (Annonaceae), Strombosia sp (Olacaceae) and Knema spp (Myristicaceae) recorded in a mixed deciduous forest, western Thailand. It also takes some small animal food; in northern Malaysia it has been reported to hawk for newly emerged mayflies (Ephemeroptera). Its movements are not well understood, but large flocks travelling between roosting and feeding areas after the breeding season have been recorded from northern Malaysia.