Family Hornbills (Bucerotidae)

Least Concern

White-thighed Hornbill (Bycanistes albotibialis)


French: Calao à cuisses blanches German: Weißschenkel-Hornvogel Spanish: Cálao patiblanco

Buceros albotibialis

Cabanis and Reichenow

, 1877,

Chinchoxo, Loango coast (Cabinda)


Hitherto considered conspecific with B. cylindricus, but differs in its coal-black (not sooty-brown) cheeks (NHMUK specimens of cylindricus show no evidence of the reddish flecking on cheeks, throat and neck sides that is stated and illustrated—including here—as a distinguishing feature) (2); periorbital skin pale yellow vs pinkish (NHMUK specimen label) or red (HBW) (2); upper thighs all white vs black (ns [2]); bill of male dark brown except for creamy tip and base vs all creamy (3); bill and casque of male only slightly vs heavily grooved (2); casque of male structured differently, with large “single” downcurving structure reaching low-elevated forward-pointing tip close to tip of bill vs large “double” structure (high, rather flat cylinder atop a supporting fan) that sheers off two-thirds down the upper mandible, leaving “tip” far from bill tip (and roughly equidistant from commissure) (3); black tailbar slightly narrower (ns[1]). Monotypic.


SW Nigeria and perhaps#R Benin E to W Uganda and S to Congo, DRCongo and N Angola.

Descriptive notes

60–70 cm; male 1200–1411 g, female 908–1043 g. Medium-sized to large black hornbill with white rump, tail-coverts, belly and thighs, broad white trailing edge to wings, white... read more


No known differences between this species and B. cylindricus.


Generally recorded in evergreen and semi-evergreen rainforest, up to at least 1100 m in Democratic... read more

Food and feeding

Approximately 90% of diet fruit (even higher percentage reported during Cameroon study), from at least 55 species within 42 plant genera... read more


Little known. Even seasonality of breeding is poorly understood, in breeding condition Apr (Uganda) and Jul (Nigeria), or Nov–Apr and Jul... read more


Local populations fluctuate 12-fold and in synchrony in Cameroon, suggesting regional movements to... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is reported to be largely uncommon and is suspected to be in decline owing to... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). White-thighed Hornbill (Bycanistes albotibialis). 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 21 July 2019).