Family Hornbills (Bucerotidae)

Near Threatened

White-crowned Hornbill (Berenicornis comatus)


French: Calao coiffé German: Langschopf-Hornvogel Spanish: Cálao cabeciblanco

Buceros comatus


, 1822,



Thought by some to be closely related to Horizocerus albocristatus, which is sometimes included in present genus, but plumage and voice markedly distinct within context of family. Monotypic.


S Myanmar (S Tenasserim) and SW Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo; recorded in SW Cambodia.

Descriptive notes

75–80 cm; young male 1250–1360 g, female 1470 g. Large hornbill with tall spiky crest, black back, wings and thighs; long, graduated white tail and white tips to... read more


A series of owl-like hoots with several variations, but typically starts with a few single hoots... read more


Inhabits primary lowland evergreen forest; extends into adjacent plantations and dense secondary... read more

Food and feeding

Large proportion of animal food, including insects, snakes, lizards and small birds; also various fruits, mainly lipid-rich drupes and... read more


Little known. Lays aseasonally, in Jan, Mar, Jun, Oct and Dec. Co-operative in groups of 3–8 birds, which keep in contact with mellow... read more


Apparently sedentary and territorial.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Currently considered Near-­threatened. Generally uncommon, although tends to be inconspicuous and easily overlooked; in places survives... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C. & Boesman, P. (2018). White-crowned Hornbill (Berenicornis comatus). 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 20 October 2018).