Family Hornbills (Bucerotidae)

Least Concern

Grey-cheeked Hornbill (Bycanistes subcylindricus)


French: Calao à joues grises German: Grauwangen-Hornvogel Spanish: Cálao carigrís
Other common names: Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill

Buceros subcylindricus

P. L. Sclater

, 1871,

Ashanti, Ghana


Races rather poorly differentiated; species perhaps better treated as monotypic. Two subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. s. subcylindricus (P. L. Sclater, 1871) – Sierra Leone, NE Liberia and Ivory Coast E to W Nigeria (delta of R Niger).
  • B. s. subquadratus Cabanis & Schütt, 1880 – Nigeria (E of R Niger), Cameroon and Central African Republic E to S South Sudan, and S to N & E DRCongo, Uganda, SW Kenya and NW Tanzania; also NE Angola.
  • Descriptive notes

    60–70 cm; male 1078–1525 g, female 1000–1250 g. Medium-sized to large black hornbill with white rump, tail-coverts and belly, broad white trailing edge to... read more


    A series of loud, nasal barks “aanh...aanh...aanh...aanh”, sometimes given in a fast sequence like... read more


    Ecotone between evergreen forest, or forest patches, and secondary forest, also tall deciduous... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly fruit, from at least 41 plant genera, and especially figs; also small animals, mainly insects, but including millipedes, snails,... read more


    Probably aseasonal, lays in Jan–May in C Africa, mainly Aug–Mar in E Africa. Monogamous in pairs. Nest in natural cavity 9... read more


    Ranges locally in search of fruiting trees, but usually in pairs; only occasionally larger flocks... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Local and uncommon in much of W Africa and Angola, but more common in some parts; still common in C & E Africa, especially along R Congo. Occurs... read more

    Recommended citation

    Kemp, A.C. & Boesman, P. (2019). Grey-cheeked Hornbill (Bycanistes subcylindricus). 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 17 July 2019).