Asian Pied Hornbill not only mate for life, they take raising their young very seriously.
Asian Pied Hornbills are usually seen in pairs unless they are juveniles. That is because they mate for life and if one unfortunately passes away, they will quickly take on a new partner.
Unlike other birds that built their nests from scratch, Asian Pied Hornbill looks for tree cavity just snug enough for the female and her young. Together with the male, they will seal her inside the hole with mud and chewed up wood/bark collected by the male, him creating the barrier from the outside and her from the inside. A slit about 1/2" width will remain, just wide enough for him to pass her food.
“The female is sealed inside the tree for 3 - 4 months, during this time she will lay up to 6 eggs and tend to the chicks. ”
This peculiar nesting habit is primarily to protect her young from predators. To further secure their hideout, she will eject her excrement out of the opening, as far as possible, so the nest remains clean and free of disease but also to elude predators from locating them through scent.
Once the chicks hatch, the male may bring up to 70 feedings of fruit, figs or insects to them each day. To lighten his burden, once the chicks are old enough, the female will break out of the nest first and seal the nest back up to help with foraging. When the chicks voice change, that's when they will stop feeding them and they are ready to break out on their own.
Watch the video below to learn more about them.