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Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill - BirdForum Opus

Photo by nick scarle
Samburu NP, Kenya, March 2009

Alternative name: Northern Yellow-billed Hornbill

Tockus flavirostris


40cm. A small, black and white hornbill.

  • Black wings with white spotted wing-coverts
  • Black tail with white in outer tail
  • Large orange-yellow with only slight casque, casque of male extends to tip of bill
  • Black bare skin around eye
  • Pink throat skin, inflated when breeding

Females are smaller, have a smaller casque and black throat skin.
Juveniles have a small, dull yellow bill with some brown patches.

Similar species

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill has dark fleshy skin around eye and on throat.


Found in Eastern Africa from Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia south to South Sudan, northeast Uganda, Kenya and northeast Tanzania.
Generally uncommon but widespread.


This is a monotypic species.
It is sometimes thought to form a superspecies with Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill and has in the past been considerd conspecific.


Dry and semi arid habitats, below 1400m.


Feeds on insects, takes also some figs and fruits.
Forages mainly on ground, often close to Dwarf Mongooses (Helogale undulata), feeding on insects disturbed by them.
Little known about breeding. Nests in a natural cavity in a tree or in a rock face. Lays 2-3 eggs.
Sedentary in most of its range.


  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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