rhinoceros hornbills

The rhinoceros hornbill is considered a ‘near threatened’ species. Which means that the population has not yet been quantified but is undoubtedly in decline. Due entirely to deforestation in the evergreen forests of Southern Thailand, Borneo and Indonesia. These birds are one of the many symbols that forest needs to be preserved for the sake of biodiversity and to preserve the incredible beauty of these birds.

For hornbills, trees are crucial for survival. They establish a nest in the opening of a hollowed out tree. The female then partially closes the entrance of the opening with a mixture of fruit and mud paste to protect her and her young. The male then visits her daily, constantly returning with 1kg of food each day. Hornbills return to their specific nesting tree throughout their 35 years lifespan. With the threat of habitat loss, these hollowed out trees are becoming fewer and fewer.

Here is another plate from the Research Design in Nature series. In the late 20’s early 30’s there was a class at the Art Institute of Chicago that had its students come to the Field Museum to study and draw inspiration from our collections.

© The Field Museum, GN90798d_RDN070.

Black and white pencil drawing of the Rhinoceros Hornbill bird with various other exotic birds in the background. Research Design in Nature plate.