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Thailand Hornbills

There are 54 species of hornbill worldwide. Thailand has 13 species. You can see 8 species of hornbill in Khao Sok National Park.

HornbillOne of our favorite bird families is the hornbills. These odd-looking birds are easy to see in Khao Sok National Park. We've seen seven species there.

The Great Hornbill is actually common.

The bizarre Helmeted Hornbill is also fairly easy to see. Hearing them is also rewarding as their call permeates the jungle for a long distance.

Bushy-crested Hornbills, a very gregarious species, is very easy to see.

Wreathed Hornbills and Plain-pouched Hornbills are frequently seen as well.

Though difficult to see, the stunning White-crowned Hornbill also calls Khao Sok National Park its home.

All of the hornbills found in Thailand are resident.

Hornbills are primarily frugivorous (fruit eaters) though they will take small reptiles, insects, and even other smaller birds during molting or when rearing young.

Hornbills make their nests in holes in trees. Dipterocarpus, massive straight-trunked trees, are a popular species in which hornbills to build their nests. If you see hornbills, there is some nice jungle somewhere nearby as these trees are prized for their hard straight wood. They are among the first to be cut down when humans encroach.

Hornbills mate for life and also return to the same tree each year to rear young. Hornbills can't excavate a hole in a tree, so they depend on natural holes. Natural holes are that common. That's probably why they return to the same tree year after year.

The female seals herself in a hole using mud and droppings. This helps prevent predation. The male's role is that of a food provider.

He will bring the female and their young food until the young are ready to leave their transitory home.

Southern Thailand Hornbill Species

  • Oriental Pied Hornbill - very common
  • Southern Pied Hornbill - a variation of the Oriental Pied that we've seen in Khao Sok
  • Great Hornbill - very common in Khao Sok
  • Helmeted Hornbill - endangered though fairly common in Khao Sok
  • Bushy-crested Hornbill - common
  • Wreathed Hornbill - vulnerable due mainly to habitat destruction
  • Plain-pouched Hornbill - endangered though fairly common in Khao Sok. We see them all the time actually
  • White-crowned Hornbill - vulnerable due to habitat destruction
  • Rhinoceros Hornbill - found in the Deep South in Hala Bala
  • Black Hornbill - very rare
  • Wrinkled Hornbill - very rare

Great Hornbill

Over all, close to 400 species of birds reside in or visit Khao Sok National Park.

(Pictured below are Wreathed Hornbills.)

Wreathed Hornbills