Sumba Hornbill

One of the three hornbill species endemic to Indonesia and is only found in Sumba Island. This large bird usually lives in forest canopies.

The endemic Sumba hornbill is listed in the IUCN Red List as Vulnerable (VU) and in CITES Appendix II. Under national regulation, the species is protected under Regulation of Minister of Environment and Forestry No. P.20/Menlhk/Setjen/Kum.1/6/2018.

Range & Habitat

The Sumba hornbill is a large bird endemic to Indonesia. Its range includes Nusa Tenggara Islands, specifically Sumba Island. It lives in evergreen primary forest, monsoon forest, and forests along riparian areas.


Body length 21.7 in (55 cm). Information on body weight is not yet available. The Sumba hornbill’s unique characteristic is its small black body, with a long and entirely black tail. Head and neck is brick red with blue throat, ridged casque and pale, yellow beak.

The Sumba hornbill does not defend or mark its territory, though there may be exceptions for certain areas of the forest where the bird is more territorial.


Sumba hornbill is a highly frugivorous bird, although no detailed study is available. Many observations state that the Sumba hornbills eat the fruits of strangler figs, and seeds from 16 fruit species have been found underneath a nest tree.


The Sumba hornbills will mate once they find the right nest, otherwise they will continue to search. Little is known about Sumba hornbill’s breeding cycle.


The Sumba hornbill’s primary forest habitat is shrinking, and in consequence the hornbill’s range is shrinking as well. This is caused by deforestation such as land conversion, uncontrolled fires and prolonged dry seasons. In other words, saving primary forest is key to ensuring the Sumba hornbill’s survival in the wild. Sumba hornbill poaching is occurring at alarming rates, caused by demand for pets and meat for consumption.

Nevertheless, Manupeu-Tanadaru National Park is home to the largest Sumba hornbill population. The park still contains protected areas of lowland forest and large trees.

Did You Know?

The Sumba hornbill is also known as Sumba Island Hornbill, Sumba Hornbill, Sumba Wreathed Hornbill or Everett’s Hornbill. Locally it is known as Goanggali. Sadly, its current population is estimated to be fewer than 10,000 individuals.