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Hornbills: Bucerotidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Southern Ground-hornbill (bucorvus Leadbeateri): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, HORNBILLS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

SOUTHERN GROUND-HORNBILL (Bucorvus leadbeateri): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
HELMETED HORNBILL (Rhinoplax vigil): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
SULAWESI RED-KNOBBED HORNBILL (Aceros cassidix): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Hornbills are found in sub-Saharan Africa; from India and continuing east through south and Southeast Asia; onto the Indonesian and Philippine archipelagos including New Guinea; and east to the Solomon Islands.

Hornbills inhabit deserts, rainforests, steppes (treeless plain, often semiarid and grass-covered), woodlands, savannas (flat grasslands), and mountains, but prefer forested areas to other locales. Hornbills must be near large trees in order to nest and feed. Different species prefer various habitats, allowing many species to live in the same area.


Hornbills eat a variety of food, from animals to fruits and seeds. They are omnivorous, eating both meat and fruit in their meals.


People hunt hornbills for food and as a treatment for ailments. The birds play an important role in the customs and traditions of local people. Their feathers, heads, and casques are valued. They are often adopted as local mascots or state birds.


Two hornbill species are Critically Endangered, facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. Two species are Endangered, facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild. Five species are Vulnerable, facing a high risk of extinction in the wild, and twelve species are Near Threatened, may become threatened with extinction.

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Animal Life ResourceBirds