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Black-casqued Hornbill - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Toy Janssen
Semliki, Uganda, January 2009

Alternative name: Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill

Ceratogymna atrata


60-70cm. A large black hornbill with white tips on outer tail feathers


  • Deep black head to breast
  • Blue pendulous throat wattles not inflatable
  • Black bill and huge cylindrical casque
  • Blue circumorbital skin and inflatable throat skin
  • Red eye


  • Smaller than male
  • Rufous head and neck
  • Horn-coloured bill and casque, casque much smaller
  • Smaller wattles
  • Brown eyes

Juveniles are similar to females but their bill is much smaller and they lack the casque


Patchily distributed in the forests of western and central Africa from Guinea and Sierra Leone east to South Sudan and western Uganda, south to northwest Angola and southern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Also on Bioko Island.
Common at a few localities and occurs in many protected areas. However also eliminated from many areas in its range due to habitat destruction.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Primary lowland evergreen forest. Also in adjacent secondary forest, gallery forest and plantations.
Occurs up to 1500m.



Little known about breeding. Possibly a co-operative breeder. They nest in tree cavities. Lays 1-2 eggs.


The diet includes fruits. Forages mainly in the canopy but also on the ground for seeds and insects.


  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  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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