Family Hornbills (Bucerotidae)

Least Concern

West African Pied Hornbill (Lophoceros semifasciatus)


French: Calao brévibande German: Guineatoko Spanish: Toco blanquinegro de Guinea

Buceros semifasciatus


, 1855,

Butre, Ghana


Closely related to L. alboterminatus and L. bradfieldi, also to L. hemprichii, all having similar calls and displays. Usually considered conspecific with L. fasciatus, but here separated on account of white only at tips of tail feathers vs all-white outer rectrices (2); black vs reddish tip of bill and distal culmen (2); blackish bar below cutting edge of lower mandible (in fasciatus this line is shorter and remains astride the cutting edges of the mandibles) (2); probably broad zone of intergradation in SE Nigeria and SW Cameroon (1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Senegambia, Guinea and S Mali E to SW Nigeria.

Descriptive notes

45 cm; male 271 g, female 191–228 g. Small, glossy black hornbill with white belly. Male has white tips to outer tail feathers; bill pale yellow with extensive black tip... read more


No known differences between this species and L. fasciatus.


Lowland evergreen forest and adjacent patches of secondary forest, also gallery forest, dense... read more

Food and feeding

Diet and foraging behaviour not as well known as that of formerly conspecific L. fasciatus, but both are probably largely similar... read more


Little known. Lays generally in drier months, e.g. Aug in Senegal, Sept–Apr in Liberia, Nov–Apr in rest of W Africa (e.g. Ghana). Nest high... read more


Sedentary and probably territorial over much of range. Forms flocks of up to 70 in non-breeding... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widespread over large range, and locally common to very common. Presence in Mali strongly disputed. In contrast, range in Burkina Faso has recently... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). West African Pied Hornbill (Lophoceros semifasciatus). 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 22 July 2019).