Family Hornbills (Bucerotidae)

Critically Endangered

Rufous-headed Hornbill (Rhabdotorrhinus waldeni)


French: Calao de Walden German: Waldenhornvogel Spanish: Cálao grande de Panay
Other common names: Walden's Hornbill, Writhe-billed Hornbill, Visayan Wrinkled Hornbill

Craniorrhinus [sic] waldeni


, 1877,

Panay, Philippines


Sometimes placed in Rhyticeros or Aceros. Has been suggested to form a species-group with R. corrugatus and R. leucocephalus, with Rhyticeros cassidix also in this group. Often considered conspecific with R. leucocephalus, but differs in plumage, bare parts, and degree of sexual dimorphism in colour of facial skin. Monotypic.


C Philippines: Panay and Negros (almost extinct in latter); extinct on Guimaras#R.

Descriptive notes

60–65 cm. Medium-sized black hornbill with broadly black-tipped white tail that becomes stained rufous with preen oil. Male crown and hindneck dark brown, head and neck... read more


A repeated bisyllabic or trisyllabic nasal bark “wa-hah” or “wa-ha-hah”, reminiscent of the... read more


Inhabits evergreen forest with closed canopy, but will also use selectively logged forest, and even... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly fruit, including figs. Usually encountered in only small groups of up to 4 birds, rarely 25–30.


Probably lays in Mar; chicks collected from nests in May–Jul. Nest in natural cavity in large Shorea polysperma tree, or in... read more


Probably sedentary, except for local movements in search of food.

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. CITES II. Restricted-range species: present in Negros and Panay EBA. Very few documented records since first discovered in 1870s, and hardly any for... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C., Boesman, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Rufous-headed Hornbill (Rhabdotorrhinus waldeni). 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 19 August 2019).