Family Hornbills (Bucerotidae)

Least Concern

Western Long-tailed Hornbill (Horizocerus albocristatus)


French: Calao à huppe blanche German: Weißkopf-Hornvogel Spanish: Cálao crestiblanco occidental
Other common names: Long-tailed Hornbill, White-crested Hornbill (when lumped with H. cassini)

Buceros albo-cristatus


, 1848,

St Paul’s River, Liberia


Hitherto considered conspecific with H. cassini. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. a. albocristatus (Cassin, 1848) – S Sierra Leone, S Guinea, Liberia and W Ivory Coast.
  • H. a. macrourus (Bonaparte, 1850) – E Ivory Coast to Benin.
  • Descriptive notes

    70–80 cm; male 279–315 g, female 276–288 g. Elongate, black hornbill with bushy white crest, and very long, graduated tail with white tip; this and H.... read more


    Vocalizations not commonly heard, but possess distinctive hollow quality: a series of crowing notes... read more


    Dense tangles within stands of primary forest, but extends to tall gallery and secondary forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Presumably very similar to H. cassini, e.g. in Liberia has been observed following groups of monkeys and joining mixed-species... read more


    Little known. Lays aseasonally, in Jan–Feb, Apr and Aug–Nov in W Africa. Territorial in pairs, territory preferably shared with... read more


    Probably sedentary and territorial in most areas.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread and locally common, but patchily distributed; generally absent from Dahomey Gap, though present in suitable areas of forest, e.g. locally... read more

    Recommended citation

    Kemp, A.C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Western Long-tailed Hornbill (Horizocerus albocristatus). 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 September 2019).