Great Hornbill
ID 38306452 © Eros Erika |


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.