Family Hornbills (Bucerotidae)


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

ENDANGERED. CITES II. Previously considered Near Threatened. Generally uncommon, although tends to be inconspicuous and easily overlooked; in places survives in small forest... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C. & Boesman, P. (2019). 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 15 September 2019).