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Pale-billed Hornbill - BirdForum Opus

Photo by nkgray
Near Kolwezi, DRC, October 2008
Lophoceros pallidirostris


43 - 50cm. A small, greyish hornbill.

  • Pale grey and brown above
  • White stripe behind eye
  • White tip to dark grey tail
  • White underparts
  • Pale yellow bill with greyish tip and fairly low casque
  • neumanni is smaller, has a paler head and a red tip to the bill

Females are smaller, have a smaller casque ridge and a browner eye.
Juveniles have a small, casqueless bill.


From Angola east to Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia.
Recorded as vagrant in Kenya.
Widespread and locally common.


Two subspecies recognized:

Forms a superspecies with African Grey Hornbill.
Formerly placed in the genus Tockus.


Found in extensive stands of dense deciduous miombo woodland.
Usually in denser, less open woodland than African Grey Hornbill.


Diet not well known. Probably mostly insectivorous.
Forages among foliage, sometimes on ground.
Breeding little known. Nests in a natural cavity in a tree, the entrance is sealed to a narrow slit. Lays 4-5 eggs.


  1. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 2001. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 6: Mousebirds to Hornbills. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334306
  2. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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