Birds of The Gambia: Red-billed Hornbill

Updated on Sep 23, 2019 by Kathryn Burrington

Blog > Birds of The Gambia: Red-billed Hornbill

Introducing the Red-billed Hornbill, another of the many beautiful and fascinating birds in The Gambia.

red-billed hornbill - Gambia bird guide

by Kathryn Burrington


The Red-billed Hornbill (Tockus erythrorhynchus)

Status: Very common


A relatively small West African hornbill measuring just 42cm high, easily recognised by its red and orange beak (which is smaller in the females). It has a white underside, black and white mottled wings, gray and white head with a darker stripe down the back of the head as seen in the video below.

Where & When

It is easily spotted in open woodland and dry savannas, often in pairs and right throughout the year. I took this picture while bird-watching with expert guide Malick Suso in Bijilo Forest, in the late afternoon last December. First one, and then two, kindly hopped around within a few feet of us, posing for our cameras while looking for food on the forest floor! Perfect!


It is omnivorous, mainly eating insects, fruit and grain. Pairs bred in the rainy season, nesting in tree cavities.

Have you seen the Red-billed Hornbill in The Gambia? If yes, we’d love to hear from you and see any photos or even videos that you might have. For information on our birding holidays in The Gambia, please visit our website.  


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