Sarawak Hornbill, Sarawak’s Pride
The Sarawak Hornbill of Borneo also known as the Rhinoceros Hornbill (Buceros Rhinoceros) or Burung Kenyalang, is the pride and joy of Sarawak people. The bird is an iconic symbol to the people of Sarawak and using it as an emblem in the official state government today.
In year 1998, the Sarawak Hornbill has been declared as a protected species. Any attempt to capture and keep it as pets, or making use any of its parts was to be considered as illegal and will received a penalty fine of RM 25,000 and a five year imprisonment.
The size of Sarawak Hornbill is one of the largest. An adult Rhinoceros Hornbill is the size of a swan with an average of 91-122 cm (36-48inch) and weighing about 2-3kg (4.4-6.6lbs). Average life span of the Hornbill is up to 90 years of age.
It can be found in lowland and mountainous area, tropical and subtropical, as well as rocky areas and deep inside the rain forest with an altitude of 1,400 meters.
Other than the Rhinoceros there are some other types of species in Sarawak. Then again, the other species are to be known as less important to the tribes here in Sarawak.
The Rhinoceros Hornbill was considered as a gift from their deity Gods by the Ibans. The Dayaks in those days believed the Hornbill is the god of war when soaring high up in the sky.
A very well-known folklore in the past was that, only the Rhinoceros Hornbill held mythical powers. They sacrificed it and took out its beak. Its yellow orange colour beak with a slightly curved out shape, once carved and worn as a necklace can control other people.
Its feather will be used for their traditional adorned costume or some kind of ornaments to be hung on the tribes’ warrior weapon such as the spear, blow pipes, wooden shield and machete. By hanging such ornaments they believed their weapons would be magical and was capable of having high durability fit for battle.
As for the clothing in today’s modern day, they are well kept and preserved from generations to generations and to be used only during the most grandeur occasion such as marriages and celebrations.
The lifestyle of Rhinoceros Hornbill is very different than any other birds. During the period of courtship, it is very critical for the pair to understand one another and providing team work.
The female tend her chicks while the male hunt for food. Their high nesting grounds, gives them better security edge from unwanted predators. The female will have to trust the male for his capabilities of providing every single of her needs during her period of incubation.
During the incubation process, the female Hornbill will be inside the nest and not leaving her sight away from it. Once eggs are laid, the male will collect mud and the pair packs that mud along with food and faeces. The mud is a soft warm ground to help the incubation process and protect the eggs from cracking.
Once egg hatches, the male will be even busier. From time to time, he will return from his food collecting and feed the female through a cavity entrance revealing only her curved shape beak shape.
The male will need to focus the feeding three times a day.
After a few months of feeding, the chicks are then ready to fly. By this time, the parents will chip through the hole and letting their young chicks taking their first flight in air.
Hornbills’ dietary plans are fruits, smaller insects, rodents, smaller reptiles and smaller birds.
So, if you are bird watcher enthusiasts? Do come over to Sarawak and check out the magnificent, beautiful, graceful and elegant Hornbill in Sarawak!! For more information, booking and enquiries, do log on to: