The birds had previously only been seen in small numbers in China

The birds had previously only been seen in small numbers in China
About 100 hornbills were spotted in flocks for the first time in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

In Tongbiguan Natural Reserve, researchers saw at least 99 hornbills cluster in flocks when they were conducting resource surveys in the area.

The hornbill earned its name with its yellow and black casque on top of its large bill and is a rare species of bird under national second-class protection in China.


Its population is mainly distributed in rain forests in Africa and South Asia and only a small number of them are living in south and southwest China.

These hornbills were seen foraging, frolicking and preening their feathers in the trees.

"It is the first time in China that nearly 100 hornbills were captured in flocks. The hornbill is also an indicator species of tropical forests. Over 30 years of protection, we saw growth in the number of hornbills through our observation, which means the protection is effective," said Chen Hao, deputy head of Ruili branch of Management and Protection Bureau of Tongbiguan Natural Reserve.