Family Hornbills (Bucerotidae)

Least Concern

Trumpeter Hornbill (Bycanistes bucinator)


French: Calao trompette German: Trompeterhornvogel Spanish: Cálao trompetero

Buceros bucinator


, 1824,

Knysna, South Africa




N & NE Angola and S DRCongo across to S Kenya, and S to NE Namibia (Caprivi Strip), N Botswana, E Zimbabwe and E & SE South Africa.

Descriptive notes

50–55 cm; male 607–941 g, female 452–670 g. Medium-sized black hornbill with white back and belly; white tips to secondaries, inner primaries and tail. Male... read more


A series of loud, drawn-out, nasal wailing notes “naaah...naaah..naaah...”, reminiscent of the... read more


Inhabits gallery, riverine and coastal evergreen forest, extending into tall deciduous woodland and... read more

Food and feeding

Main diet a wide variety of at least 14 genera of fruits, especially figs and Trichelia; also some small animals, mainly insects,... read more


Lays in Sept–Jan. Monogamous; sometimes second male or young of previous year in attendance as helper. Nest in natural cavity 2... read more


Resident in many areas, but ranges widely in search of fruiting trees, even across dry savanna; a... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Thinly distributed across wide range, but locally common in many areas. Occurs in Victoria Falls and Zambezi National Park, in... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C. & Boesman, P. (2019). Trumpeter Hornbill (Bycanistes bucinator). 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).