Luzon “Tariktik” Hornbill is MBG’s Wildlife of the Month for November 2023

The Makiling Botanic Gardens (MBG) Wildlife of the Month (WOM) for November 2023 is the Luzon “Tariktik” Hornbill, scientifically known as Penelopides manillae (Boddaert, 1783) from the family Bucerotidae. The wildlife is endemic to the Philippines; the island of Luzon and some adjacent islands.

The bird is physically described as a fairly large bird that has a fairly short bill with black bands. It also has black wings and rump, a black tail with a pale band, and, bare skin with a blue tinge around the eye and chin. This animal is a sexually dimorphic bird (a male looks different from the female). Its male has pale underparts and a head with a black cheek, while the female is entirely black. They lay eggs during the period of March-April, and are incubated for 28-31 days, followed by 50-65 days of fledging. The voices of these birds are sharp, medium-pitched nasal honks, like the sound of a squeaky toy.

Tariktik’s diet is composed of the fruit of species of trees, mainly of Ficus, Artocarpus, Canarium, Listea, Cinanamomum, Dysoxylum, Syzygium, Cocos cumingii, Livistonia rotundifolia, and Pinanga insignis. They also eat insects, lizards, and eggs.

They are noted by the IUCN Red List as “Least Concern”. Meanwhile, usual threats to these birds include being hunted for food. Sometimes, their skulls are used to make traditional headdresses by the natives.

By: AALimpiada and MMCaña

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