The crowned hornbill, also known as the southern crowned hornbill is an African hornbill species that belongs to the Bucerotidae family, genus Lophoceros, and the Aves class. It is a medium-sized bird, which resides in woodlands and evergreen forests. This hornbill species has a wide distribution in Ethiopia, Angola, Zaire, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa.
It has a dark brown plumage and white belly. It has a flat crest on the crown and a long white-tipped tail that is distinguished in flight. Both sexes have a similar appearance, but the male has a larger casque that occurs above the bill on its upper mandible and a yellow line is visible at the base of its bill.
The population of this bird species is currently stable thanks to the breeding done in controlled environments in captivity such as zoos and aviaries.
If you liked these true facts about the crowned hornbill, then you'll surely like these facts about the pelican and the swallow-tailed kite too!
What do they prey on?
Insects and small birds
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
How much do they weigh?
6.3-11.6 oz (180-330 g)
How long are they?
Wingspan: 19.6-21.2 in (50-54 cm)
How tall are they?
What do they look like?
Dark brown and white
What are their main threats?
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
Coastal and riverine forests
Crowned Hornbill Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a crowned hornbill?
The crowned hornbill is a type of bird found in steady evergreen forest habitats. During the dry season, this bird wanders in flocks of 80 or more individuals just after the breeding season and reaches more broadleaved habitats. These hornbills are monogamous in nature and spend their entire life with a single mate.
What class of animal does a crowned hornbill belong to?
The crowned hornbill (Lophoceros alboterminatus) belongs to the Aves class of animals and the order Bucerotiformes.
How many crowned hornbills are there in the world?
Due to a lack of data, the population of the crowned hornbill in the world is unclear. These birds are abundant in their preferred habitat range, and due to them occurring in abundance in their preferred habitat range, they are listed as a species of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
Where does a crowned hornbill live?
The crowned hornbill mainly inhabits a forest range across lightly wooded regions with bushy forest patches. They are also found in riverine regions and coastal forests across Africa.
What is a crowned hornbill's habitat?
The crowned hornbill (Lophoceros alboterminatus) builds its nest on tree cavities or in large tree trunks. This hornbill species roosts in distinct sites, and they reside for only two to three weeks in one site and then move to another site.
Who do crowned hornbills live with?
The crowned hornbill is a social species, and these hornbills are generally seen in both small and large flocks during the normal and breeding season.
How long does a crowned hornbill live?
The average lifespan of a crowned hornbill is between 10-15 years in the wild. In captivity, with proper care and a healthy diet, the life of these birds can be extended by up to five years, taking their total life count to 20 years.
How do they reproduce?
Crowned hornbills belong to the Bucerotidae family and are monogamous in nature, meaning that they mate with a single partner for life. These birds will build their nest in tree cavities or in large tree trunks. After finding a suitable place to lay eggs, a male will provide bark flakes and a female will use its own droppings to seal the entrance of the nest. During this period, males provide both food and protection to the female.
The breeding season for crowned hornbill birds varies in most regions of Africa as they breed during different months, but it usually begins during the rainy season. A female crowned hornbill lays two to five white eggs after nesting and their incubation period is 25-27 days. The chicks hatch in an interval of two to four days.
The female sheds her old flight feathers during the period of time spent in the cavity. Once the eggs are hatched, the female breaks down the entrance and leaves the nest with the young chicks. Both parents share parental responsibilities towards these young chicks.
What is their conservation status?
The crowned hornbill is listed as a species of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List due to the vast population and distribution of this bird across the African continent. Their population is declining due to the loss of a suitable habitat range.
Crowned Hornbill Fun Facts
What do crowned hornbills look like?
The crowned hornbill has a blackish-brown upper plumage and white belly. The wings and the flight feathers are edged buffs with a long white-tipped tail. They have broad, fuzzy, white eyebrows on the head and long white feathers (plumage) and a flat crest on the crown. Their bill is dark orange-red in color with a casque on the upper mandible and a yellow line is visible at the base of the bill. The throat skin is dark in color. The eyes of these birds are orange and their legs and feet are black in color.
Both sexes have similar plumage, but the female has a smaller casque and her eyes are yellower compared to those of males. The throat skin of the female is green and they are slightly smaller than males.
How cute are they?
These birds have a peculiar appearance that makes them stand out. The flat crest on their crown, their long bill, and the casque in their upper mandible are some of the main features that stand out.
How do they communicate?
The crowned hornbill call has a series of mournful whistles. It sounds like 'chleeoo chleeoo' and this bird also produces distant calls if a threat is nearby.
How big is a crowned hornbill?
The crowned hornbill is a medium-sized bird that can extend up to 19.6-21.2 in (50-54 cm) in wingspan, and since these birds are sexually dimorphic, males are larger than females. However, their exact height is not known. In comparison, the average white-crowned hornbill size is 33–40 in (83.8-101.6 cm), making it the larger hornbill.
How fast can a crowned hornbill fly?
Due to a lack of specific data, the speed at which these medium-sized birds fly cannot be stated. However, like other hornbill species, these birds carry out their flight slowly with deep wingbeats, while gliding between the stretch of flapping.
How much does a crowned hornbill weigh?
A crowned hornbill is a medium-sized bird found in the wild and weighs only up to 6.3-11.6 oz (180-330 g).
What are their male and female names of the species?
At present no particular name has been assigned to either sex of the species.
What would you call a baby crowned hornbill?
A baby crowned hornbill is called a chick. These juveniles have buff edges, white flecks on their wings, and a similar white belly like their parents. They have a yellow bill with a hazy casque and their throat skin is dull yellow in color.
What do they eat?
The diet of the South African crowned hornbill is vast as they mainly forage among the leaves under the sunshade of trees. They forage the ground for caterpillars, wasps, and termites. They also feed on small birds, golden moles, snails, and lizards. During dry seasons this species survives on crops, maize, peanuts, and fruits. Fruits make up a large part of their diet.
Are they poisonous?
No, they are not poisonous at all.
Would they make a good pet?
No, this bird is wild in nature and is found in forest areas. Domestication of this bird is not popular or common.
Did you know...
The white-crowned hornbill (Berenicornis comatus) belongs to the genus Berenicornis and the order Bucerotiformes. A white-crowned hornbill male is slightly bigger than a female. These birds lay two white eggs in a single clutch inside tree cavities. They block the entrance with their droppings and females only leave their nest after their chicks are able to fly.
Some species of hornbills like the white-crowned hornbill (Berenicornis comatus) and the crowned hornbill (Lophoceros alboterminatus) in Africa have a codependent relationship with dwarf mongooses. They search for food together while warning each other of nearby predators.
During the incubation period, the female hornbill experiences a complete and concurrent molt. When the chicks are too big to fit in the nest, the female finally breaks out of the nest.
Ground hornbills (Bucorvus leadbeateri) are the only species of hornbills thatdo not adapt to the peculiar nesting behavior of females blocking the nest entrance with their droppings. Instead, they are traditionally cavity-nesters.
As the forest-dwelling hornbill species also feeds on fruits, they play an important part in dispersing seeds across the forest.
Hornbills are not rare birds, in fact there are approximately 55 different species of hornbills in the world.
Do crowned hornbills migrate?
These birds are regional migrators as they fly in flocks to different regions in their habitat range. They travel in search of food sources in case there is a shortage of food in their native region. These birds roost in a single site for two to three weeks and then they move to a different location with their flocks. During the dry season, these birds will move out in search of a new roosting site after their white eggs are hatched.
Are crowned hornbills endangered?
No, as of now these species are not endangered. They are listed as a Least Concern species on the IUCN Red List.
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