Kakamot Plushie - Sungang the Hornbill
Our Sungang The Rhinoceros Hornbill plushie is approx. 15cm tall x 17cm long, available at Salt x Paper (click Shop button) til stock lasts.
The Rhinoceros Hornbill (see second last photo) occurs only in the forests of peninsular Malaysia and the islands of Sumatra, Java and Borneo. The Rhinoceros Hornbill has a prominent golden-yellow horn, called a casque, on the top of its beak. The casque is a hollow structure made up of keratin (the same material as human fingernails) and acts as a resonating chamber, amplifying the bird’s calls.
They have black feathers on their wings and body and their tail feathers are white. Both male and female Rhinoceros Hornbills are similar in appearance, but the male birds have an orange or red ring around their eyes, while females have a white ring.
Sungang ; the hornbill's name called by the Dusun people in Sabah, are believed to be one of the few animal forms of Kinohoringan, the creator of man from the Dusun's old religion. To some Dayak people, it is believed to be the chief of worldly birds or the supreme worldly bird, and its statue is used to welcome the god of the augural birds, Sengalang Burong, to the feasts and celebrations of humankind.
Rhinoceros Hornbills feed mainly on fruits and insects, but may also prey on small reptiles, rodents and smaller birds.
Like other hornbills, the adult Rhinoceros Hornbills form breeding pairs and have unusual nesting habits. The pair build a nest in a hollow tree and seal the opening with mud, faeces and food remains – with the female inside. Only a small hole is left, through which the male passes the female regurgitated food, while the female incubates the eggs.
Both hunting and rainforest habitat loss threaten hornbills. Hunting is both for food and traditional medicines, while various parts of the bird, particularly the feathers, beak and casque, are used in costumes and rituals. Rhinoceros Hornbills will not use secondary rainforest and this further restricts their distribution.
The last photo is one of our favourite hornbill species; the rare Helmeted Hornbill. Listed as Critically Endangered status - the last phase before Extinction status ; due to habitat loss and poaching for its prized casque. Unlike the rhinoceros hornbill's casque, the helmeted hornbill’s is solid and easy to carve into beads, figurines, and intricate scenes, which have suddenly become the thing for a certain subset of wealthy Chinese. Watch this video of 'How we photographed the elusive Helmeted Hornbill' - https://youtu.be/tm8yfEM7Ps8 . The rare bird was so elusive that they almost ended up having to round out the story with photos of other hornbill species!
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