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Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Tom Tarrant
A male photographed in Semuliki NP, Uganda, December 2005
Lophoceros camurus

Identification

30cm. The smallest hornbill with a distinctive chestnut colour.

  • Chestnut plumage with white-spotted wing-coverts and white edges to flight feathers
  • White belly
  • Bright red bill
  • Brown bare skin around eye

Females are smaller and have a black tip on the bill.
Juveniles have smaller, pale orange bills.

Distribution

Found in tropical Africa from southern Sierra Leone to Democratic Republic of the Congo, northwestern Angola (Cabinda), southwestern South Sudan and western Uganda.
Widespread and common in parts of its range.

Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species.
Formerly placed in the genus Tockus.
Bird west of Nigeria were formerly treated as race pulchrirostrirs.

Habitat

Dense understorey of primary, secondary and gallery forest.
Occurs up to 800m.

Behaviour

Feeds mainly on insects, takes also lizards. Rarely fruit.
Usually seen in groups of 6 or more birds. Follows squirrels and driver-ants to forage for the insects they disturb.
Little known about breeding. Nests in a natural cavity in a tree, the entrance sealed to a narrow slit.

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. 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

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