Monteiro’s Hornbills

The Monteiro’s Hornbills, Tockus monteiri, is an African hornbill.

The Monteiro’s hornbill is a common endemic species of Namibia, with total population estimated on 340,000 individuals.

Monteiro’s Hornbill, Tockus monteiri - Range in Blue

Monteiro's Hornbill (Tockus monteiri) (adult male)


It is a medium sized bird, with a length between 54 to 58 cm, characterized by a white belly, black back, with white spots on the wings and secondary flight feathers (shorter, upper “arm” feathers) are colored white. The outer feathers of the long tail are also white.

Females are smaller than males and can be recognized by turquoise facial skin. The eyes are black and the beak is red.

Monteiro's Hornbill, Tockus monteiri

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Feeding / Diet

Unlike other members of the family, which are omnivorous, the Monteiro’s hornbill feeds exclusively on insects and other small arthropods. Its habitat is the savannah and dry thorn fields of NW Namibia.

Breeding / Nesting

In springtime, Monteiro’s hornbills migrate to the southern Windhoek region for nesting. Due to the arid environment, drinking is not a vital necessity for this species.

They breed in the end of good rainy season, laying 3 to 5 white-greyish eggs, hatched after about 45 days. The nest is built in rocky faces or trees.

Monteiro's Hornbill, Tockus monteiri


  • BirdLife International (2004). Tockus monteiri. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 2006. Retrieved on 6 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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