|Berenicornis comatus. Male|
The white-crowned hornbill (Berenicornis comatus), also known as the white-crested hornbill or long-crested hornbill (leading to easy confusion with the African Tropicranus albocristatus), is a species of hornbill.
It is monotypic within the genus Berenicornis, although rarely the white-crested hornbill is also included in this genus, and the white-crowned hornbill is sometimes placed in genus Aceros instead.
This bird inhabits rainforests at low and medium altitudes, usually at an elevation below 900 meters. It may also be found on fruit, oil-palm and rubber plantations. It is threatened by habitat loss.
Berenicornis comatus is a large hornbill, reaching a length of 83–102 centimetres (33–40 in) and a weight of 1.3–1.5 kilograms (2.9–3.3 lb). Females are smaller than males. The plumage is black and white. The head, neck, breast and tail are white, while the remaining plumage is black. It has a white crown feathers erected in a crest (hence the common name). Between the eye and the bill and on the throat there is bare dark blue skin. The bill is mainly black, with a yellowish base. Like most hornbills, it has a blackish casque on the top if its bill. The female has a black neck and underparts. These birds are territorial and feed on various fruits, lizards, arthropods and larvae.
The female lays two white eggs in a tree hole, then seals herself in by blocking the entrance to the nest with droppings, debris and mud. The male, and other adults and young forming a cooperative group, feed the breeding female and the chicks through a narrow hole. The female breaks the "wall" and leaves the nest when the chicks are able to fly.
- BirdLife International (2008). Aceros comatus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 21 February 2009.
- Clements, J. F. 2007. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th Edition. Cornell University Press. Downloadable from Cornell Lab of Ornithology
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