Southern Rufous Hornbill

Buceros mindanensis

Red List Status: VU – Vulnerable, criteria A2cd+3cd+4cd (IUCN 2020)

Distribution: Endemic to the Philippines, this species occurs in the south in Mindanao, Dinagat, Siargao, Balut, Bucas, Talicud and Basilan and the race semigaleatus in central Philippines in Samar, Leyte, Bohol, Calicoan, Buad, Panaon and Biliran.

Description: 100 cm. Male 1185-1612 g; female 1017-1413 g. Large hornbill with dark rufous head and neck; has red casque, basal half of upper mandible red with corrugation, lower mandible less red but anterior part of the bill is yellowish white. Iris varies from yellowish grey, blue grey to pale green, orbital skin black. Sexes similarly coloured, with black underparts, brown back and wings, all-white tail. Female is smaller than male, casque is smaller as well, orbital skin yellow and iris red. This species overlaps with Writhed Hornbill on Mindanao, but can be easily recognised by its large orange head. 

Voice: The call is similar to that of B. hydrocorax.

Habits: Found in large expanses of primary rainforest; extends into mature secondary forest, from the lowlands into the mountains at 2,100 m elevation. It feeds mainly on fruits and seeds, including figs. Also takes animal food, insects and centipedes have been recorded. Usually forages in the canopy of large trees, also occasionally lower and has been reported dropping to the ground. Moves in small groups, on Mindanao it might mix with Writhed Hornbill in fruiting trees and at roosting sites.