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Black-casqued hornbill

The Ceratogymna atrata, more commonly known as the black-casqued hornbill, is a bucerotiforme bird from the Bucerotidae family. It has beautiful black feathers and the tip of its tail is white. If anything about this bird stands out, it would be the solid helmet-like structure on its head, which is gray with flecks of silver, as well as its peculiar unruly crest or “wig.”

Scientific name:

Ceratogymna atrata


Ceratogymna atrata








Fruit and, to a lesser extent, insects


Around 120 days

Number of puppies

Normally 1 to 2 young


They can live for up to 16 years


Between 2,2 and 3,3 pounds


Between 23 and 27,5 inches

Characteristics of the black-casqued hornbill

The females have a brown neck, just like the upper part of their head. On average, its body measures between 23 and 27.5 inches and its weight varies between 2.2 and 3.5 pounds for males and between 2 and 2.6 pounds for females. It lives for an average of nineteen years.

Habitat of the southern ground hornbill

This bird is native to the jungles of sub-Saharan Africa. It can be found in the countries of the Gulf of Guinea, from Liberia to Angola, as well as other inland countries such as Uganda, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic.
Its area of distribution is particularly large, spanning up to 1,304,880 miles of the African continent. It lives in deciduous forests away from the coast at above 3950 feet in altitude.

Diet of the black-casqued hornbill

The black-casqued hornbill mainly eats fruit. Around 85% of its diet is vegetarian. It also feeds on some insects such as ants and small vertebrates.

Black-casqued hornbill reproduction

In the wild, they form pairs or small family groups. These birds make their nests in holes high up in the trees, sometimes more than 66 feet above the ground. Curiously, they time mating season so that it coincides with periods of greater abundance of food. In times of scarcity, black-casqued hornbills reduce the number of eggs they produce or simply stop reproducing.
Prior to courting, hornbill pairs make a nest where the female will remain protected during the incubation of the eggs and until the young are ready to go out into the world.

Fun facts about the black-casqued hornbill

One of the greatest curiosities of hornbills has to do with reproduction. While the mother incubates the eggs and remains in the nest, which is sealed by the male, it is the father who is in charge of providing food. What’s more, they are monogamous birds. They stay with the same partner for life.

Degree of threat


You can find me in this area inside the park.

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Forests of countries west of sub-Saharan Africa.