Family Hornbills (Bucerotidae)


Rhinoceros Hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros)


French: Calao rhinocéros German: Rhinozeroshornvogel Spanish: Cálao rinoceronte
Other common names: Great Rhinoceros Hornbill

Buceros Rhinoceros


, 1758,

India; error = Malacca, West Malaysia


Closely related to B. bicornis. The two reported to have hybridized both in wild and in captivity. Birds from Sumatra described as race sumatranus on grounds of larger size, but appear inseparable from nominate. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. r. rhinoceros Linnaeus, 1758 – S Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra.
  • B. r. borneoensis Schlegel & S. Müller, 1840 – Borneo.
  • B. r. silvestris Vieillot, 1816 – Java.
  • Descriptive notes

    80–90 cm; male 2465–2960 g, female 2040–2330 g. Large mainly black hornbill with white thighs and vent, black band across white tail; bill and casque... read more


    A series of short, explosive, resonant  “rroh” calls. Pairs also call antiphonally on two... read more


    Extensive areas of primary evergreen forest, extending into tall secondary forest; often crosses... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly fruits, especially figs, but also various lipid-rich capsules and drupes; in addition, eats any small animals it can capture, mostly... read more


    Lays aseasonally, in Jan, Mar–Jun, Sept and Nov. Indication that sometimes breeds co-operatively, both in wild and in captivity. Nest... read more


    Breeding pairs sedentary in many areas; in non-breeding period, may make long movements in search... read more

    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. CITES II. Previously considered Near Threatened. Occurs in several large mainly lowland reserves, including Taman Negara National Park (Malaysia), Gunung Leuser... read more

    Recommended citation

    Kemp, A.C. & Boesman, P. (2020). Rhinoceros Hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros). 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 February 2020).