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Abbysinian Ground Hornbill
Bucorvus abbysinicus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Bucerotidae
Hornbills (Family Bucerotidae) are a group of birds whose bill is shaped like a cow's horn, but without a twist, and with a casque on the upper bill. Both the English and scientific names refer to the shape of the bill, "Buceros" being "cow horn" in Greek.

There are about 40 species of hornbill in the Old World tropics.

Hornbills could well be called "jailbirds" because of their rearing habits. They build a nest in a hollow part of a tree, where the female lays up to six white eggs.

Before the eggs hatch, the male builds a wall in the opening, leaving only a small hole through which the male transfers food to the mother and the chicks. When the chicks and the female are too big to fit in the nest, the mother breaks out and rebuilds the wall, then both parents feed the chicks.

Many, but not all, hornbills have an enlarged horny casque at the top of their bills. Most are arboreal birds of dense forest, but the large Ground Hornbills, as their name implies, are terrestrial birds of open savannah.

Hornbills are omnivorous, eating fruit, insects and small animals.

In the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy, Hornbills are separated from the Coraciiformes, which also includes kingfishers, bee-eaters and rollers as a separate order Bucerotiformes.

Some species have different plumages for each sex. The blue throat of the Abbysinian Ground Hornbill pictured above shows it to be an adult female.

A more typical hornbill species is shown below.

Red-billed Hornbill
Tockus erythrorhychus

Species list

  • White-crested Hornbill, Tockus albocristatus
  • Black Dwarf Hornbill, Tockus hartlaubi
  • Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill, Tockus camurus
  • Monteiro's Hornbill, Tockus monteiri
  • Red-billed Hornbill, Tockus erythrorhynchus
  • Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Tockus flavirostris
  • Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Tockus leucomelas
  • Jackson's Hornbill, Tockus jacksoni
  • Von der Decken's Hornbill, Tockus deckeni
  • Crowned Hornbill, Tockus alboterminatus
  • Bradfield's Hornbill, Tockus bradfieldi
  • African Pied Hornbill[?], Tockus fasciatus
  • Hemprich's Hornbill, Tockus hemprichii
  • African Grey Hornbill[?], Tockus nasutus
  • Pale-billed Hornbill, Tockus pallidirostris

  • Malabar Grey Hornbill, Ocyceros griseus
  • Ceylon Grey Hornbill, Ocyceros gingalensis
  • Indian Grey Hornbill[?], Ocyceros birostris

  • Malabar Pied-Hornbill, Anthracoceros coronatus
  • Oriental Pied-Hornbill, Anthracoceros albirostris
  • Black Hornbill, Anthracoceros malayanus
  • Palawan Hornbill, Anthracoceros marchei
  • Sulu Hornbill, Anthracoceros montani

  • Rhinoceros Hornbill, Buceros rhinoceros
  • Great Hornbill, Buceros bicornis
  • Rufous Hornbill, Buceros hydrocorax
  • Helmeted Hornbill, Buceros vigil

  • Brown Hornbill, Anorrhinus austeni
  • Rusty-cheeked Hornbill, Anorrhinus tickelli
  • Bushy-crested Hornbill, Anorrhinus galeritus

  • Luzon Hornbill, Penelopides manillae
  • Mindoro Hornbill, Penelopides mindorensis
  • Tarictic Hornbill, Penelopides panini
  • Samar Hornbill, Penelopides samarensis
  • Mindanao Hornbill, Penelopides affinis
  • Sulawesi Hornbill, Penelopides exarhatus

  • White-crowned Hornbill, Aceros comatus
  • Rufous-necked Hornbill, Aceros nipalensis
  • Wrinkled Hornbill, Aceros corrugatus
  • Writhe-billed Hornbill, Aceros waldeni
  • Writhed Hornbill, Aceros leucocephalus
  • Knobbed Hornbill, Aceros cassidix
  • Wreathed Hornbill, Aceros undulatus
  • Narcondam Hornbill, Aceros narcondami
  • Sumba Hornbill, Aceros everetti
  • Plain-pouched Hornbill, Aceros subruficollis
  • Blyth's Hornbill, Aceros plicatus

  • Trumpeter Hornbill, Ceratogymna bucinator
  • Piping Hornbill, Ceratogymna fistulator
  • Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Ceratogymna brevis
  • Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill, Ceratogymna subcylindricus
  • Brown-cheeked Hornbill, Ceratogymna cylindricus
  • White-thighed Hornbill, Ceratogymna albotibialis
  • Black-casqued Hornbill, Ceratogymna atrata
  • Yellow-casqued Hornbill, Ceratogymna elata

  • Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill, Bucorvus abyssinicus
  • Southern Ground-Hornbill, Bucorvus leadbeateri

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