MorphologyRead full entry
Great hornbills are fairly large, ranging from 95 to 120 cm in length and featuring a wingspan of 151 to 178 cm. On average, they weigh 3 kg. They are vividly colored and easily recognizable. The body, head, and wings are primarily black; the abdomen and neck are white. The tail is white and is crossed by a subterminal black band. A preen gland near the tail secretes tinted oil, which is spread across the feathers by the bird during grooming. This may give the bill, neck, casque, and tail and wing feathers coloration varying from yellow to red. The most recognizable feature of hornbills is the casque, which is a hollow structure located on top of the bill. It may be used by males to fight with other males and attract females. Like many other hornbills, these birds have prominent eyelashes.
Males and females are similar except that the irises of males are red while those of females are white, and males have slightly larger bills and casques.
The feature that distinguishes B. bicornis from other species is its greatly curved bill and prominent casque.
Average mass: 3 kg.
Range length: 95 to 120 cm.
Range wingspan: 151 to 178 cm.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike; sexes colored or patterned differently; ornamentation