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Namdapha National Park, India

(Aceros nipalensis)

IUCN status : Vulnerable

Rufous Necked Hornbills are characterized by a long, down-curved and brightly colored. Their huge bill is used for nesting and climbing trees. This hornbill is found in mature, dense, evergreen and broadleaf forests of Bhutan, Myanmar, China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and northeast India. It is most commonly found between 1,800 and 5,400 feet, but has been known to appear down to about 450 feet. The number of streaks in the beak of a Rufous Necked Hornbill helps determine its age. It is the second longest-bodied species of hornbill at up to more than 120 cm (48 in), but often weighs half as much as the Southern Ground Hornbill. In flight, their large wings flutter to make a loud wooshing sound which can be easily heard from miles away.

The breeding pair seals the female inside the hole with a plaster of mud and fibers. The male gathers and delivers earth to the female, who seals her inside the hole. A narrow slit is left open so he can feed her and the chicks. He brings them mostly fruits, insects, crabs and lizards, and sometimes, smaller birds. This remarkable behavior is believed to deter large predators.

Rufous Necked Hornbills are vulnerable in their habitat with an estimated surviving population of less than 10,000 individuals. It is locally extinct in Nepal due to hunting and significant loss of habitat.

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