Meet the Zoo: Bar-Patched Wreathed Hornbills
June 15, 2012
Two bar-patched wreathed hornbills are enjoying their first summer at the zoo, where visitors often wonder about their unique features. Most prominent are their oversized beaks, held stable by an adaptation unique to hornbills--they are the only bird with the first two neck vertebrae naturally fused together.
Keepers are optimistically monitoring the pair for breeding behavior, but so far the male is playing hard to get. He frequently holds out a grape to the female, beckoning her. As soon as she prepares to take the grape from his beak, he flips his head back and swallows it.