Family Hornbills (Bucerotidae)


Narcondam Hornbill (Rhyticeros narcondami)


French: Calao de Narcondam German: Narcondamhornvogel Spanish: Cálao de la Narcondam
Other common names: Narcondam Wreathed Hornbill

Rhyticeros narcondami

A. O. Hume

, 1873,

Narcondam, Andaman Islands


In the past often considered conspecific with R. plicatus, but geographical isolation, together with notable difference in size and lesser (supposed) differences in bill colour, have been used to support their treatment as two separate species. This treatment accepted here pending more detailed information on behaviour and ecology of the taxa, but in reality geographical isolation, while normally part of the process of speciation, is not in itself a taxonomic character, and bill-colour differences (according to photographs) appear not to exist, so only size clearly distinguishes narcondami from plicatus, and in some respects the notion of the two forms being conspecific represents a more intriguing biogeographical circumstance than one of their mere relatedness. Monotypic.


Narcondam (NE Andaman Is).

Descriptive notes

45–50 cm; male 700–750 g, female 600–750 g. Small, black hornbill with short white tail; appearance is of a miniature version of R. plicatus. Male... read more


A series of loud, harsh cackles “ka-ka-ka-ka..”.


Occupies relatively open, mixed ­evergreen and deciduous forest, and dense bush; occurs from... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly fruit, of at least 9 species, with principal component figs; no animal food recorded. Congregates at fruiting trees in groups of up... read more


Lays in Feb–Apr. Breeds in pairs; active nests sometimes only 23 m apart. Nest in natural cavity 2·4–15·2 m up in... read more



Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Andaman Islands EBA. Total range only 6820 ha, not all of which is prime habitat. Population always small,... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Narcondam Hornbill (Rhyticeros narcondami). 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 January 2020).