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Sulawesi Hornbill - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Sulawesi Tarictic Hornbill; Celebes Hornbill; Sulawesi Dwarf-Hornbill; Temminck's Hornbill

Male ssp sanfordi
Photo © by martinuk
Karaenta, Makassar, Sulawesi Selatan, Indonesia, October, 2009
Rhabdotorrhinus exarhatus


Photo © by darwin1601
Tangkoko, Sulawesi, Indonesia, December 2018

45 cm (17¾ in) A small, black Hornbill.

  • Overall black plumage with green gloss on back
  • Bill pale yellow, black base at lower mandible, sanfordi with pale creamy yellow ridges across lower mandible

Male face and throat white, stained yellow

Female smaller, all black plumage and blacker bill and casque

Juveniles with smaller bill, undeveloped casque


Sulawesi endemic. South East Asia: Indonesia: Greater Sundas. Locally common, however loss of lowland forest has fragmented its range.



There are two subspecies of the Sulawesi Hornbill[1]:

  • R. e. exarhatus in north Sulawesi
  • R. e. sanfordi in central, east and south Sulawesi, Buton and Muna Island

Has been treated conspecific with the other species of its former genus Penelopides.


Tropical lowland, swamps and primary forests.
Mostly below 650m, sometimes up to 1100m.



The diet includes fruits, figs and insects.


Breeding starts from March to April, breeds in pairs, sometimes co-operative in small groups. The female seals herself inside a tree hole for egg-laying. During this time, the male will provide food for the female and the young. Lays 2-3 eggs.


A sedentary and territorial species.


  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. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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