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Writhed Hornbill - BirdForum Opus

Male on the left, female on the right, displaying
Photo by martinuk
PICOP, Mangagoy, Bislig, Surigao del Sur, Mindanao, Philippines, February 2012

Alternative names: Writhe-billed Hornbill; White-headed Hornbill; Mindanao Wrinkled Hornbill

Rhabdotorrhinus leucocephalus


60-65cm. A medium-sized black hornbill with a black-tipped white tail.


  • Dark brown crown and hindneck
  • White face and neck to upper breast (stained creamy by preen oil)
  • Red bill, base of lower mandible with blue-black grooves, red wrinkled casque
  • Deep orangy-red bare skin around eye and on throat


  • Smaller than male
  • All black head to breast
  • Paler facial skin

Juveniles similar to adults but with smaller bill and without casque.


Southern Philippines (Camiguin, Dinagat and Mindanao).
Formerly relatively common but now much rarer as forest is much reduced in its range.
Formerly placed in the genus Aceros.


This is a monotypic species[1].
May form a superspecies with Walden's Hornbill, Wrinkled Hornbill and Knobbed Hornbill and even sometimes considered conspecific with Walden's Hornbill.


Primary lowland rainforest with an abundance of fruit trees.


Usually seen in pairs, rarely in flocks.


Feeds mainly on fruit, takes also some insects.
Often foraging with Rufous Hornbill.


They use natural or carved-out hollows in tree trunks for nests.


  1. 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/
  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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