helmeted horbillimage credit: endangered-ugly.blogspot.com
Habitat: Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, & Borneo

Back from NY and I figured what better way to start things off than with something really ugly. Am I right?! The Helmeted Hornbill has a bare, wrinkled throat patch that is red in males and blue in females (pictured). Around 10% of the bird’s body weight comes from the animal’s solid casque, which is the yellow bump like thing that protrudes from the top of its beak (unlike the Helmeted Hornbill most other hornbills have a hollow casque).

The Punan people of Sarawak, Malaysia believe that the bird guards the river between life & death.

Here’s my favorite part: The Helmeted Hornbill’s calls are described as hoots followed by maniacal laughter.

umm.. WTF? This bird is seriously messed up.

*Edit: Listen to the hornbill’s call here. Play the 4th one (46 seconds long). Pretty wacky!