Family Hornbills (Bucerotidae)

Least Concern

Dwarf Hornbill (Lophoceros camurus)


French: Calao pygmée German: Zwergtoko Spanish: Toco pardo
Other common names: Red-billed Dwarf-hornbill, Dwarf Red-billed Hornbill

Tockus camurus


, 1857,

Cape Lopez, Gabon


Birds W from Nigeria sometimes separated as race pulchrirostris, but overlap in colour and size with those in rest of species’ range. Monotypic.


S Sierra Leone and S Guinea E to SW South Sudan and W Uganda, S to NW Angola (Cabinda) and S DRCongo.

Descriptive notes

30 cm; male 101–122 g, female 84–115 g. Smallest hornbill, with distinctive chestnut colour, white-spotted wing-coverts, white edges to flight-feathers, white... read more


A series of 12–16 plaintive, mellow whistles, given at rate of c. 2 whistles per second, slightly... read more


Dense understorey of primary, secondary and gallery forest, including around swamps, forest margins... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, mainly small ants, wasps and mantids, also larger grasshoppers; lizards also recorded; only rarely fruit. Forages in groups of up... read more


Little known. Lays in Feb–Sept and Nov–Dec in W Africa, in Oct–Dec in C Africa. In groups of up to 12 birds that often... read more


Probably sedentary and territorial throughout year.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widespread and commonly heard; one group in forest patch of c. 20 ha in Gabon; elsewhere, about every 800 m along 32 km of riverine forest. Easily... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C. & Boesman, P. (2019). Dwarf Hornbill (Lophoceros camurus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 15 September 2019).