John T. Willis

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Palawan Hornbill

The palawan hornbill (Anthracoceros marchei), which the Filipinos call talusi, is a small forest-dwelling bird--it is approximately 21-25 inches long. It weighs approximately a pound and a half. This bird is predominantly black with a white tail, a dark green gloss on its upperparts and a large creamy-white beak with a casque typical of the hornbill family. The calls of a palawan hornbill sound like "kaaww" or "kreik-kreik."

Nine species of hornbill live in the Philippines and the palawan hornbill is endemic to Palawan Island, but has also been seen on nearby islands of Balabac, Busuanga, Calauit, Culion and Coron. Most visiting birdwatchers travel to St. Paul's National Park to view this bird. It acts as a bio-indicator due to its sensitivity to environmental changes. It is officially classied as "vulnerable" and its numbers have reduced by at least 20% in the last ten years due to habit destruction and hunting for food and the live bird trade.

Palawan hornbills are usually seen in pairs or small noisy family parties, and have a communal roosting. They are usually seen in fruiting trees at the forest edge, but also feeds on insects and small reptiles. The palawan hornbill gathers fruits in a gular pouch, then processes and spits out seeds where they are able to thrive, away from the competing parent tree. Scientists estimate that there are up to 10,000 palawan hornbills on earth.

The palawan hornbill is another example of our God's wonders. It has its own features and characteristics and needs and contribution to this planet. YOU have a unique place here on earth. God created YOU for an important reason. Examine YOUR heart and YOUR life, and strive to determine WHO YOU need to be. Share YOUR thoughts and insights and dreams with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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