Coraciiformes Taxon Advisory Group

White-crowned Hornbill (Berinicornis comatus)

Species Manager: Eric Kowalczyk- Woodland Park Zoological Gardens


Other common names in use include: White-crested hornbill, Long-crested hornbill.

Kemp (1995) placed this species in the genus Aceros (subgenus Berenicornis) but acknowledged that this species might be placed in the monotypic genus, Berenicornis. Kemp wrote the section on Bucerotidae in Del Hoya et al. (2001) and placed this species back in Berenicornis.


Adult male: head, neck, breast, tail, and broad tips of wings white; back, wings, thighs, abdomen, and undertail coverts black; white crown feathers raised in a forward pointing crest; bill and low casque ridge black with greenish-yellow base; bare circumorbital and throat skin light blue; eyes pale yellow; legs and feet black.

Adult female: similar to male but smaller; only crest and tail white.

Immature: head, neck, and underparts black, with white feathers tips giving a mottled appearance; tail feathers black with broad white tips; bill yellow; bare facial skin grey; eyes greenish-yellow; legs and feet grey.

Range, habitat, and status

This species occurs in southern Myanmar and Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, and southwest Cambodia. It prefers primary lowland evergreen forest up to 900 meters (rarely up to 1680 meters).

It is uncommon to rare in most of this range. Since it prefers dense undergrowth and is often found close to the ground, it is generally inconspicuous and easily overlooked. Listed as endangered in Thailand and rare in Peninsular Malaysia. The population in Cambodia was recently discovered.

Captive propagation

The first known captive breeding occurred in 1993 at Ornis Mallorca (Strehlow 2001). The only known success in this region occurred at Discovery Island on 11 October 1994 (Atallian et al unpublished). The female that was raised is now on exhibit with the sire, at Franklin Park Zoo.

There are 23 historical records in this studbook. Presently, there are 3.3 living birds in 3 institutions.

Site Created and Maintained by Kevin Graham, Disney's Animal Kingdom: Last Update 27 February 2007