Family Hornbills (Bucerotidae)

Least Concern

Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris)


French: Calao pie German: Orienthornvogel Spanish: Cálao cariblanco
Other common names: Malaysian Pied Hornbill, Sunda Pied Hornbill (convexus)

Buceros albirostris


, 1808,

Chandernagore, India


Authorship of original description previously given as Shaw and Nodder, 1790, but recent investigation found that Shaw, 1808 is correct#R. Thought to form a species-group with A. coronatus and A. marchei. Was for long confused with A. coronatus, with complex synonymy of both scientific and vernacular names; the two were considered conspecific, but now recognized as two distinct species, differing in size and in several aspects of morphology (including colour of bare throat skin) and behaviour, and overlapping in range without interbreeding. During period of confusion, present species was commonly referred to as A. malabaricus, but this name, two years senior to albirostris, appears to be unidentifiable; within “A. malabaricus”, E birds were sometimes separated as race leucogaster, now considered a junior synonym of albirostris. Race convexus sometimes considered a separate species, but alleged sympatry without hybridization apparently not proven, and supposed difference in tail pattern not constant. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. a. albirostris (Shaw, 1808) – N India and S Nepal E to S China (Yunnan, SW Guangxi), and S to N Peninsular Malaysia, SW Cambodia and S Vietnam.
  • A. a. convexus (Temminck, 1832) – Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, Java and Bali, including numerous smaller islands.
  • Descriptive notes

    55–60 cm; male 680–907 g, female 567–879 g. Medium-sized, pied hornbill with white belly and trailing edge to wings. Male nominate race with white tips to... read more


    A rather thin cackling, “kek-kek-kek-kek..”. Also single “kek” notes.


    Edges of evergreen forest, and various types of open deciduous forest, woodland and plantations, at... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly fruit, also small animals. Fruits from at least 35 species recorded eaten in Thailand, with more non-fig than fig species. Animals... read more


    Lays in Feb–Apr on Asian mainland, and in Sept–Mar, even May, on Malaysian and Indonesian islands. Territorial in pairs. Nest... read more


    Sedentary in most areas; some flock formation and local movements during non-breeding season, and... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. The commonest Asian hornbill in most areas across its wide range, but has declined rapidly within small Chinese range... read more

    Recommended citation

    Kemp, A.C. & Boesman, P. (2019). Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris). 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 21 January 2019).