Bird Families

Big Indian kalao (

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Year of issue: 1992

Condition in the photo. Photos are not edited for the purpose of increasing attractiveness.

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Habitat

The kalao range stretches from Western India to the east to Thailand, and to the south through the Malacca Peninsula to the island of Sumatra inclusive. Kalao live in the treetops of the tropical jungle. The favorite places of these birds are the tops of evergreen trees, where they find a sufficient amount of food all year round.

In search of food, the large Indian rhino flies between the trees. It is often possible to observe how these birds fly in pairs or in small flocks over the forest. Kalao keep in touch with each other with the help of loud sounds - rolling roars and clucking. That is why it is impossible to walk past the tree without noticing the kalao. In flight, the kalao resembles a vulture with its rounded wings.

Helmet-billed kalao: who will save the rhino bird?

The world around me stopped.

I don't feel the sticky heat or the throbbing pain in my ankle, which I sprained a few days ago at home in Washington. There are no more bugs or chirping cicadas.

We do not take our eyes off the massive head topped with a heavy red helmet (or hard hat) crawling over a yellow beak. Consider a bare, wrinkled red neck, long tail feathers with black and white edging. Again and again we look at the whole bulky, ponderous figure of the bird. The impression is truly stunning - as if I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time. A real miracle of nature.

The feathered rhino leans over the nest and pushes a stick insect to the chick through the hole. Mission accomplished! Flapping his wings, daddy Kalao again whistles through the air and leaves home - but later, of course, he will bring his family some more delicacy.

One of 57 species of hornbills in Africa and Asia, the helm-billed kalao is found only in the lowland forests of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and southern Thailand. It differs from other rhino birds in that almost all of his helmet is dense, covered with a thick layer of keratin - the very one that is the main component of our nails, hair, as well as rhino horn. We do not know much about the habits of the helmet-billed Kalao. It is known for certain that the helmet is their weapon in skirmishes with rivals: they use it to strike blows on the fly. Perhaps this is how they fight for nests or fruit trees.

These birds are omnivorous, but they prefer the fruits of the strangler ficus - plants that sprout from seeds in the crowns of other trees and put down roots, slowly enveloping the owner's trunk and gradually killing him. However, fruiting ficuses-stranglers in the rainforest are not only ruthless killers - they are also a grocery store for local residents who are not averse to eating ripe fruits. These unusual plants are visited by tupai, and giant squirrels, and gibbons, and orangutans, and almost a thousand species of birds.

Hornbills play a key role in the conservation of the forests of Southeast Asia. Like true forest farmers, they distribute seeds by regurgitating or defecating, and thus fill the rows of trees over an area of ​​several square kilometers. This mission is especially important now, given how much virgin forest has been cleared for the sake of commerce. In addition, large-scale logging is reducing the habitat of the Asian hornbill species themselves and jeopardizing their nesting ability.

Particularly picky are the helmet-billed Kalao, which needs huge trees with a hollow suitable for a nest (such trees are the oldest and most massive in the forest and therefore are highly valued by lumberjacks). These birds reproduce slowly, incubating one chick once a year. Since the mother and child live in a hollow as recluses for about five months, until the chick learns to fly, the male must bring them food all this time. If the male dies - for example, from a bullet from poachers, hunters for kalao helmets - the family will have almost no chance of surviving.

Scientists don't know exactly how many helmeted Kalao are left in the wild, but recent studies say these birds are in danger. Back in 1973, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora was adopted - an agreement that regulates international trade in wild animals and plants. In 2016, more than 180 countries participating in the convention approved a proposal to strengthen the protection of helmeted Kalao, the purchase and sale of which has been banned throughout the world since 1975. In response to rampant poaching, the conservation status of this species, which in the past was “close to a vulnerable position,” soared to “near extinction”, overcoming three categories in one leap and finding itself on the verge of “extinction in the wild”. In every country where the kalao helmet is found, they are protected by national legislation, but Indonesia has become a center for poachers.

For the first time, Indonesian law enforcement agencies became aware of the scale of the illegal trade in body parts of the helmet-billed kalao in 2012. Then, at the airport of West Kalimantan, a province on the island of Kalimantan, two Chinese women were detained trying to take out 96 items from their helmets. Soon, a wave of confiscations swept across the country, with in some cases the number of helmets in the hundreds. The British non-profit organization Environmental Investigation Agency, along with the international program TRAFFIC, which monitors trade in representatives of wild fauna and flora, is tracking the confiscated shipments of helmets. According to agency employees, most likely, the seized only a drop in the sea of ​​helmet-billed Kalao on the black market.

Most of the kalao's diet consists of tropical fruits. Birds give particular preference to figs, as they contain a large amount of sugar and are easy to find throughout the year. The large Indian rhino, despite its large size, quite deftly jumps from branch to branch in the crown of a tree and picks fruits with its beak. Birds collect carrion on the ground. In addition, the kalao picks fruits in the air, throws them into the air, catches them with their wide-open beak, and immediately swallows them. Birds also feed on the fruits of the emetic strychnos, from which strychnine is obtained.

Hear the voice of the Nepali kalao

The head and neck of males are red, the beak is greenish-yellow, the back is black, the tail is white-black, there are several vertical dark stripes on the beak, and there is a naked blue ring around the eyes. In females, the neck, head and lower body are dark brown or black, and the ring around the eyes is pale blue. The eyes of females and males are red.

Juveniles resemble adult males, but their beaks are not so large and without black stripes at the top.

Nepalese hornbills inhabit moist tropical, mixed and evergreen forests. They can also be found in hilly areas at an altitude of 1000-1800 meters. They lead an arboreal diurnal lifestyle. Nepalese kalao spend most of their time in trees, hiding in dense foliage. They keep in small groups of 11-18 individuals.


Nepalese kalao (Aceros nipalensis).

The diet of these hornbills is based on plant foods and fruits. They prefer pears, nut nuts, buds and tree shoots. And in the mating season, Nepalese kalaos become omnivores, they eat reptiles, insects, crabs, mollusks, amphibians and other birds. The enemies of the Nepalese Kalao are pandas and kunyas.

The breeding cycle of Nepalese hornbills takes 117-126 days. The mating season lasts from March to June. They build their nests in the hollows of large living trees. The nests can be 6 to 33 meters above the ground. The female seals the entrance to the hollow with a mixture of leaves, resin, and dirt, leaving only a narrow gap through which the male passes food to the female and chicks. In such confinement, the female spends 4 months.

The locals actively hunt Kalao for their delicious meat. Various souvenirs are made from the beaks of the kalao. These are useful birds that promote the spread of seeds of plants and fruits that they eat.


Recently, the population of Nepalese Kalao has greatly decreased and now the number of individuals of this species is less than 10 thousand birds.

To date, the number of the species has decreased significantly. In nature, no more than 10 thousand Nepalese kalaos live. Since 2004, the species has been included in the list of protected animals. The main threat to the number of hornbills is associated with the destruction of their habitat: people plow lands, cut down forests and actively hunt birds.

Reproduction

The nesting period of the Kalao is not confined to a specific season. Birds usually nest when the land in the forest becomes sufficiently wet, and, therefore, suitable for building a nest. Typically, this period falls on the time from January to April. Kalao chooses a hollow for the nest, located at a height of 18-25 meters from the ground.

Having chosen a suitable nest, the female begins to wall up the entrance to it. She does this without the help of a male. The male only brings her building material: fruit pulp, lumps of earth, twigs. All this is held together by the bird droppings. Drying up, the resulting substance turns into a dense "concrete" wall. When the hole decreases, the female squeezes into the hollow and walled herself up from the inside. She leaves only a small hole through which the male feeds her, and the female throws out the waste. The mother remains walled up all the time of incubation and feeding of chicks. Also, during the period of "confinement", the female undergoes molting, after which she is covered with colorful new plumage. Probably, the female lays 2 eggs, the incubation of which lasts about a month. Sometimes only one chick hatches. The male brings food to the female and to the chicks hatched from the eggs. By the end of the nesting period, he becomes completely skinny. In 2-3 months after the hatching of the chicks, the female breaks the “wall” and, together with the chicks, comes out of the “confinement”. After that, young Kalao learn to fly.

Malay kalao

The Malay Kalao or Malay Gomray is one of the largest members of the hornbill family.

Arial habitat of the Malay kalao

Malay kalao is widespread in the jungles of the Malay Peninsula, western Java, Borneo and Sumatra.

Malay kalao appearance

The body length of an adult Kalao is about 122 cm, weight is from 2.2 kg to 3.5 kg. Males are somewhat larger than females. The plumage of the body and wings is black with a metallic sheen. The legs are short, on the paws there are four toes - three toes turned forward and one back. The white stripes on the wings are formed by the white tips of the flight feathers. The tail is long and white with a transverse black stripe. The beak is large and strong, has corrugated edges and is bent downward. Above the base of the beak, going over the head, there is a wide helmet consisting of light porous bone tissue, the cells of which are filled with air. The older the bird, the larger its beak and helmet. The eyes are red or orange in males, whitish in females.

Malay Kalao lifestyle and nutrition

In forests growing on mountain slopes, this bird is found at altitudes up to 1200 m. When choosing a place of residence, the Kalao prefers areas with an old, powerful stand, where it is easier to find suitable conditions for nesting. The main threat to this species is the deforestation of tropical forests, since only in the jungle can it find housing and food. Kalao is not at all adapted to life in a treeless area.

Malay kalaos usually live in pairs, but outside the nesting season they often roam the jungle in small groups. They fly heavily and awkwardly, alternating a series of strokes with planning, and swelling the forest with bass roulades or desperate clucking. Married couples especially like to call each other on the fly.

The main food of kalao is fruits, nuts and insects. With its impressive beak, the bird feeds its offspring, strikes in fights, cleans feathers, walled up its nest and obtains food. The grooved edges of both jaws provide a secure grip.

In search of food, the kalao wanders through the forest, looking out for abundantly fruitful trees, and sometimes even descends to the ground to pick up sweet overripe fruits. Some males bring treats to their friends outside the breeding season.

Interesting Facts

  • Kalao eggs are white, but gradually they change their color and turn brown. This happens under the influence of rotting food and wood residues.
  • Waste discarded by the female and chicks from the nest contains undigested plant seeds that germinate under the tree. By the size of these plants, the natives determine the age of the chick and can choose the right moment to retrieve the young kalao from the nest. After that, the chicks pass into the hands of animal traders.
  • The female Kalao changes plumage during her "imprisonment" in the hollow. Molting lasts one week. At this time, all feathers on the wings and tail are replaced.

Two-horned kalao (gomrai)

The two-horned Kalao, or Gomrai (Latin Buceros bicornis), also known as the large Indian rhinoceros, is the largest bird of the Gomrai genus of the rhinoceros family, whose body length reaches 1.5 m. rituals of local tribes. In captivity, the two-horned kalao can live up to fifty years of age.

Two-horned kalao (gomrai)

The kalao range stretches from Western India to the east to Thailand, and to the south through the Malacca Peninsula to the island of Sumatra inclusive. Kalao live in the treetops of the tropical jungle. The favorite places of these birds are the tops of evergreen trees, where they find a sufficient amount of food all year round.

Two-horned kalao (gomrai)

In search of food, the large Indian rhino flies between the trees. It is often possible to observe how these birds fly in pairs or in small flocks over the forest. Kalao keep in touch with each other with the help of loud sounds - rolling roars and clucking. That is why it is impossible to walk past the tree without noticing the kalao. In flight, the kalao resembles a vulture with its rounded wings.

Most of the kalao's diet consists of tropical fruits. Birds give particular preference to figs, as they contain a large amount of sugar and are easy to find throughout the year. The large Indian rhino, despite its large size, quite deftly jumps from branch to branch in the crown of a tree and picks fruits with its beak. Birds collect carrion on the ground. In addition, the kalao picks fruits in the air, throws them into the air, catches them with their wide-open beak, and immediately swallows them. Birds also feed on the fruits of the emetic strychnos, from which strychnine is obtained.

Kalao eggs are white, but gradually they change their color and turn brown. This happens under the influence of rotting food and wood residues.

Waste discarded by the female and chicks from the nest contains undigested plant seeds that germinate under the tree. By the size of these plants, the natives determine the age of the chick and can choose the right moment to retrieve the young kalao from the nest. After that, the chicks pass into the hands of animal traders.

The female Kalao changes plumage during her "imprisonment" in the hollow. Molting lasts one week. At this time, all feathers on the wings and tail are replaced.

These birds have been known to mankind for a very long time and are found in many ancient traditions and myths. Already in ancient Rome, these birds were known as "rhinoceros" birds. Their distinctively long beaks and great helmets are often used as ceremonial head adornments. For example, the men of the Niche tribe wear bopa headdresses with decorations from the beaks of a two-horned kalao. Originally worn only by chiefs and priests, today many men wear them as a symbol of fearlessness.

The Malay Gomrai is the national symbol of the Malay state of Sarawak, which is reflected in its coat of arms, which depicts this bird with outstretched wings. For the local population, this bird is a symbol of purity and purity. People often use either the bird itself or its image in religious rituals.The Malay Gomrai with his helmet lifted up symbolizes one of the most powerful Dayak gods - the god of war Singalang Burong (Malay. Singalang Burong), who plays an important role in the religious festivals of the Iban, in particular, in the “festival of the rhino bird” (Malay. Gawai Kenyalang or Malay Gawai Burong). This state is home to many species of hornbill, which is why it is often called the "country of hornbill". In Sarawak, as in other countries of Southeast Asia, hornbills are protected species.

The Indian state of Nagaland also hosts the "Hornbill Festival" every year. The two-horned kalao or large Indian rhinoceros is a universally revered bird in this state. In another Indian state - Arunachal Pradesh - this bird is a symbol of the state and is displayed on its emblem. The Sulawesian kalao (Latin Aceros cassidix) is the symbol of the Indonesian province of South Sulawesi.

Many hornbills are large forest birds and require large forest areas with many old trees to nest. Due to intensive deforestation, the future of these birds is threatened. People hunt birds, using them as food, as a means of treating diseases and for making souvenirs: inlaid skulls and beaks. The dense outgrowths of the helmet-billed kalao (lat. Rhinoplax vigil) are used as a material for the manufacture of netsuke.

Two species of hornbills are endangered, and two more are critically endangered. Five species are classified as Vulnerable, and 12 more are Near Threatened

Notes (edit)

  1. Galushin VM, Drozdov NN, Ilyichev VD et al. Fauna of the World: Birds: A Handbook / ed. V.D.Ilyichev. - M .: Agropromizdat, 1991 .-- S. 196 .-- 311 p. - ISBN 5-10-001229-3
  2. 12
    Life of animals. Volume 6. Birds / ed. V.D.Ilicheva, I.V. Mikheeva, Ch. ed. V.E.Sokolov. - 2nd ed. - M .: Education, 1986 .-- S. 335 .-- 527 p.
  3. 12Boehme R.L., Flint V.E.
    A five-language dictionary of animal names. Birds. Latin, Russian, English, German, French / Edited by Acad. V.E.Sokolova. - M .: Rus. lang., "RUSSO", 1994. - P. 183. - 2030 copies. - ISBN 5-200-00643-0.

Excerpt from the Great Indian Kalao

- Bezukhov est ridicule [ridiculous], but he is so kind, so sweet. What pleasure is it in being so caustique? - Fine! Said a young man in a militia uniform, whom Julie called "mon chevalier" [my knight] and who was traveling with her to Nizhny. In Julie's society, as in many societies in Moscow, it was supposed to speak only Russian, and those who made mistakes in speaking French paid a fine in favor of the donation committee. “Another fine for gallicism,” said the Russian writer who was in the drawing room. - “It's a pleasure to be not in Russian. “You are not doing anybody favors,” Julie continued to the militia, ignoring the composer's remark. “I’m to blame for the caustique,” ​​she said, “and I’m crying, but I’m ready to pay for the pleasure of telling you the truth, I don’t answer for gallicisms,” she turned to the writer: “I have neither money nor time, like Prince Golitsyn, take a teacher and study in Russian. And here he is, ”Julie said. “Quand on… [When.] No, no,” she said to the militia, “you won’t catch it. When they talk about the sun, they see its rays, ”said the hostess, smiling graciously at Pierre. “We were only talking about you,” Julie said with the freedom to lie characteristic of secular women. - We said that your regiment will probably be better than Mamonov's. "Oh, don't tell me about my regiment," answered Pierre, kissing the mistress's hand and sitting down beside her. - He bothered me so! “You’ll command him yourself, don’t you? - said Julie, slyly and mockingly exchanging glances with the militia. The militia in Pierre's presence was no longer so caustique, and his face expressed bewilderment as to what Julie's smile meant. Despite his absent-mindedness and good nature, Pierre's personality immediately ceased all attempts to ridicule in his presence. - No, - Pierre answered laughing, looking around his big, fat body. “It’s too easy for the French to get into me, and I’m afraid that I’m not going to get on a horse ... Among the people being sorted out for the subject of conversation, Julie’s society fell on the Rostovs. “They say they’re doing very badly,” said Julie. - And he is so stupid - the count himself. The Razumovskys wanted to buy his house and the Moscow region, and all this drags on. He is treasured. - No, it seems that the sale will take place one of these days, - someone said. - Although now it's crazy to buy something in Moscow. - From what? Julie said. - Do you really think that there is a danger for Moscow? - Why are you going? - I? That's weird. I'm going because ... well, because everyone is going, and then I'm not Joanna d'Arc and I'm not an Amazon. - Well, yes, yes, give me some more rags. “If he manages to get things done, he can pay all the debts,” the militia continued about Rostov. - A good old man, but very pauvre sire [bad]. And why do they live here for so long? They have long wanted to go to the village. Does Natalie seem to be well now? Julie asked Pierre with a sly smile. “They are expecting a younger son,” said Pierre. - He entered Obolensky's Cossacks and went to Belaya Tserkov. A regiment is being formed there. And now they have transferred him to my regiment and are waiting every day. The count had long wanted to go, but the countess would never agree to leave Moscow until her son arrived. - I saw them the day before yesterday at the Arkharovs'. Natalie looked prettier and more cheerful again. She sang one romance. How easy it is for some people! - What's going on? - Pierre asked with displeasure. Julie smiled. “You know, Count, that knights like you are only in madame Suza's novels. - What knight? From what? - Blushing, asked Pierre. - Well, fullness, dear count, c'est la fable de tout Moscou. Je vous admire, ma parole d'honneur. [all of Moscow knows this. Indeed, I am surprised at you.] - Fine! Fine! - said the militia. - Oh well. You can't say how boring it is! - Qu'est ce qui est la fable de tout Moscou? [What does all of Moscow know?] - Pierre said angrily, getting up. - Completeness, Count. You know! “I don’t know anything,” said Pierre. - I know that you were friends with Natalie, and therefore ... No, I am always better friends with Vera. Cette chere Vera! [This dear Vera!] - Non, madame, [No, madam.] - Pierre continued in an unhappy tone. - I did not take on the role of Rostova's knight at all, and I have not been with them for almost a month. But I do not understand the cruelty ... - Qui s'excuse - s'accuse, [Whoever apologizes, he blames himself.] - Julie said smiling and waving lint, and so that she had the last word, she immediately changed the conversation. - What is it, today I found out: poor Marie Volkonskaya arrived in Moscow yesterday. Did you hear she lost her father? - Really! Where's she? I would very much like to see her, - said Pierre. - I spent the evening with her yesterday. She is going to the Moscow Region with her nephew this morning or tomorrow. - Well, how is she? - said Pierre. - Nothing, sad. But do you know who saved her? It's a whole novel. Nicolas Rostov. They surrounded her, wanted to kill her, wounded her people. He rushed and rescued her ...

1. Culture

The Malay Gomrai is the national symbol of the Malay state of Sarawak, which is reflected in its coat of arms, which depicts this bird with outstretched wings. For the local population, this bird is a symbol of purity and purity. People often use either the bird itself or its image in religious rituals. The Malay Gomrai, with his helmet lifted up, symbolizes one of the most powerful Dayak gods, the god of war Singalang Burong Malaysk. Singalang Burong, which plays an important role in the Iban religious festivals, especially the Malay "rhinoceros festival". Gawai Kenyalang or Malay. Gawai Burong.

2. Subspecies

There are four known subspecies of the Malay Kalao:

  • Buceros rhinoceros silvestris Vieillot, 1816
  • Buceros rhinoceros borneoensis Schlegel & S. Muller, 1840
  • Buceros rhinoceros sumatranus
  • Buceros rhinoceros Linnaeus, 1758

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