Home - Guide - Great Hornbill


    The Great Hornbill can be found in India, parts of China,
    countries in southeastern Asia including Thailand, as well
    as Indonesia and Malaysia.


    The primary food of the diet of the Great Hornbill is fruit.  
    It will also eat insects, lizards, snakes and small
    mammals.  Like other birds, they likely play a part in
    "gardening" the rainforest by eating fruit and then
    dispersing the seeds of the fruit across the rainforest in
    their dung.


    The habitat of the Great Hornbill is high in the canopy of
    the rainforest.  They can find shelter in the holes of the
    trees, and may cover large areas of the forest in a single
    day in search of food.

Size and Description

    The Great Hornbill is one of the largest members of the
    Hornbill family.  It can weigh between 5.5 - 7 pounds,
    with males being larger than females.  Its can reach
    between 2.5 - 3.5 feet in length.  The most noticeable
    feature of the Great Hornbill is the large casque that rests
    on top of its beak and forehead.  The casque is not heavy
    as it appears but rather it is quite light as it is made of
    hollow cells supported by thin walls.  The casque is
    believed to act as an amplification chamber for the bird's
    loud calls.  The body of the bird is covered with mostly
    black feathers, and there are white feathers on the neck,
    wings and flight feathers.  Some of the feathers appear
    yellow due to gland oil.  


    The mating process of the Great Hornbills sometimes
    begins with males clashing and butting casques in mid-
    air in order to "win" a mate.  When the female is ready to
    lay eggs, she will climb into an empty tree hole.  The
    male will then gather mud and dung pieces, and they will
    both work together to wall the female in.  While building
    the wall, the male and female will leave a small opening
    so that the male will be able to bring the female food
    while she is incubating and raising the chicks.  This wall
    will be used as protection against predators.  The female
    will usually lay one or two eggs in a given clutch.
Great Hornbill
(Bucernos bicornis)
Kingdom:   Animalia
Phylum:   Chordata
Class:   Aves
Order:   Coraciiformes
Family:   Bucerotidae
Genus:   Buceros
Species:    bicornis
© Photographer: Eduardo Arenas
IUCN Status:
Near Threatened
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