The helmeted hornbill is one of the most bizarre birds in existence. The bird has a huge bill that has a large, solid protuberance called a casque on the top. The casque is so big that it often makes the head look bald. The helmeted hornbill also has a big patch of featherless, leathery skin on its neck, which is blue in females and red in males.
It prefers forests within rugged terrain, up to elevations of 1,500 metres The helmeted hornbill is a unique creature that, let’s be honest, is a little ugly. Regardless, they are magnificent creatures. As far as weird birds go, the helmeted hornbill might just about as weird as it gets.
The helmeted hornbill are found across the bits of south east Asia that are lucky enough to still have trees on them. Their call is said to resemble hoots, followed by maniacal laughter. Such ludicrous behaviour isn’t surprising when you take into consideration the amount of headfirst crashing he does. Thankfully that enormous bonce helps with the giddy spells, it sports a huge solid lump that may weigh up to 10% of the total body weight. You wouldn’t particularly want to be clonked into by the fellow either, at roughly the length of a short man… he’s much like one of those human cannonball chappies you see down at the fair… just a bit more feathery.
The helmeted hornbill performs incredible displays in flight, in which individuals collide in mid-air, their casques clashing with a loud ‘clack’. This aerial jousting, which usually takes place between two males, often results in one or both hornbills being flung backwards, before righting themselves again in flight. These collisions are typically observed near fruiting fig trees, suggesting that the birds are fighting over access to their favored food.
The Helmeted Hornbill , Rhinoplax vigil , is a very large bird in the hornbill family. It is found in the Malay peninsula , Sumatra and Borneo .