Side shot of a Helmeted Hornbill. Photo courtesy of Pierre de Chabannes

Quirky Facts about a Quirky Bird

  • Some experts have attributed the jousting these animals exhibit as an effect of the birds eating fermented fig trees (Kinnaird et al. 2003) . Basically these birds were thought to be as bad as men fighting in front of a bar.

  • A major part of the predation on these animals has come from indigenous tribal men. Specifically these men kill the birds for their feathers, which they use as symbols of having killed a man (as cited in Kemp 1995)

  • The Ivory portion of the casque of this hornbill has had many different issues over the years.These include ear drops and plugs or even retail sale. The have been sent to China for years, with uses in jewelry. A casque was even attempted to use as a vessel for cocaine smuggling (as cited in Kemp 1995).

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