Crowned Hornbill (Tockus alboterminatus)

Crowned Hornbill are a large, 21.5" (55cm) bird, with black or brownish-black upperparts, neck and breast. Its underparts are white. It has a slight crest of white streaks on the crown and nape of the neck. A black tail has white-tipped outer feathers. The male's bill is heavily ridged, the female's less so and is smaller. Both are red and a white line separates the bill from the body. It has yellow eyes.

Crowned Hornbill are seen in small family groups, or pairs. This is a bird that pairs for life.

Crowned Hornbill eat both animal and plant matter; termites, caterpillars and anything up to chameleon size, tossing the creature into the air and catching it in their open bill. They also eat fruit, seeds and nuts.

Crowned Hornbill are found in the centre and west of Kenya, below 3,000 metres and including the coast. Often seen in woodlands and the edges of forests.

Extra Crowned Hornbill Facts
Crowned Hornbill nest in the hollows of trees, shoring it up with mud and excrement, the female on the inside. The male passes food through a small opening and the female & chicks eject their excrement through the same hole. When the chicks grow and space becomes limited, the female is let out - the opening is again closed, until the chicks are big enough to leave.

Photographed in Kenya's Shimba Hills.

Categories & Keywords
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Keywords:bird, crowned hornbill, hornbill, kenya, wildlife

Crowned Hornbill

Crowned Hornbill, perched on a fruiting bush.