Oriental Pied Hornbill

With a wide occurrence in Asia, the oriental pied hornbill has great survival skills due to their ability to adapt to changing habitats.

The Oriental pied hornbill is classified as Least Concern (LC) in the IUCN Red List since 2004, and in CITES Appendix II. The species is also protected nationally under Regulation of Minister of Environment and Forestry No. 106 of 2018.

Range & Habitat

The oriental pied hornbill occurs over an extensive range that includes India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. In Indonesia the species is found in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Java.

Its habitat comprises good primary forest and selectively logged secondary forest. The species also inhabits coastal forests.


The oriental pied hornbill measures 55-60 cm in length. Its head, neck, breast, back and wings are black. Abdomen and upper legs are white. The bill forms at age 1-2 months and will be completely formed by age 12-14 months. White coloration on tail develops along as the bird grows.


The oriental pied hornbill is generally frugivorous, although it will also eat small animals such as insects, fish, bats, frogs, lizards, snakes, scorpions, snails, and other preys. It also eats fruits of the Gebang palm (Corypha utan), acacia, liana, and papaya fruit.


Oriental pied hornbills need 79-89 days to incubate their eggs. They prefer to nest in Eugenia spp., Dipterocarpus spp., Altingia excelsa, Sterculia spp., Ficus spp., Tetrameles nudiflora, and Pterospermum spp. trees. During breeding season, the male will visit its nest 3-5 times to deliver fruits and small insects. In each visit, the male will feed its mate for 0.5 to 10 minutes. The oriental pied hornbill makes a plaster of mud and bits of food.


Because of its extensive range, oriental pied hornbill population is relatively stable. There is, however, existing threat of wildlife trade. The species is often sold in bird markets. For example, the oriental pied hornbill is given as souvenirs in Thailand and kept as pets in Myanmar.

Did You Know?

The oriental pied hornbill has three types of bathing activities: sunbathing, water bathing, and dust bathing.