Ugandan Birds: The Crowned Hornbill

crowned hornbill

The crown hornbill (Tockus Alboterminatus) is a  slender dark woodland hornbill with a red bill and long black tail with white corners. The crowned Hornbills are of two races; the eastern and paler-backed Suahelicus and the western black-backed Geloensis.

In their habitats you can find them either in pairs or family groups. With a very sharp high pitched and a long piercing vocalls that rises and falls they are more musical than the African pied no wonder they call them the noisy hornbill!

You can find them in forests like Mabira, Mpanga and Kibaale though not as common as the African Pied Hornbill. In the National Parks be sure to find them in the Chimpanzee paradise of Kibaale forest National Park and Semliki National Park.

Identifying The Crown Hornbill

  • Despite its name crown hornbill it really does not have an obvious crown!
  • It has white streaks behind the eyes which create a dark capped effect that looks like a “crown”.
  • The adult male is slightly larger than the female bird with a heavier casque.
  • The immature bird (A bird that has molted its juvenile plumage but has not attained its full adult plumage) is similar to the adult female but duller with a dull yellowish-bill.
  • The crown hornbills have floppy undulating flight and they show the obvious white tips to the outer tail.