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Books about Hornbills

This page lists books that are totally or partially about Hornbills. The books are listed in order of publication date with the most recent at the top.

Family: Bucerotidae

There are approximately 55 species of hornbills found in Africa, Asia and some of the Western Pacific islands.


Hornbills of the World: A Photographic Guide

Pilai Poonswad, Alan Kemp and Morten Strange

Draco Publishing


"The first monograph to the order of Bucerotiformes out for almost 20 years and the first ever to use photographs to identify all 57 species in tropical Africa and in Asia, male as well as female, and almost all of the 75 subspecies. Each species is featured over 1-6 pages with detailed text, multiple habitat photos by Tim Laman and 61 other contributors, and a distribution map showing distribution to subspecies level. There are additional chapters covering evolution, habits, social life, feeding and breeding ecology as well as conservation."

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Hornbills in the City: A Conservation Approach to Hornbill Study in Singapore

Marc Cremades and Soon Chye Ng

National Parks Board Singapore


"This is an amazing visial account of the status of the Oriental Pied Hornbill in Singapore as well as related species, and of the tireless efforts by the authors and the National Parks Board to raise the level of knowledge and awareness about these important birds; the book is expertly put together by editorial consultant Ng Bee Choo. Six years of work went into the making of this large format book which includes more than 600 photographs, over 100 maps and illustrations and a 40-minute DVD movie."

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The Ecology and Conservation of Asian Hornbills: Farmers of the Forest

Margaret F. Kinnaird and Timothy G. O'Brein

University of Chicago Press


"Hornbills are among the world's most distinct birds. Easily identified by their oversized beaks adorned with large casques, they range from Africa to India and throughout Asia. One of the oldest bird orders, they have been known to mankind for millennia and loom large in the mythology of indigenous cultures of tropical Asia. In the past thirty years, ecologists have uncovered many fascinating aspects of hornbill biology, from their unique nest-sealing behavior to their roles as farmers of the forest. Building on fourteen years of research, Margaret F. Kinnaird and Timothy G. O'Brien offer in The Ecology and Conservation of Asian Hornbills the most up-to-date information on the evolution, reproduction, feeding ecology, and movement patterns of thirty-one species of Asian hornbills. The authors address questions of ecological functionality, ecosystem services, and keystone relationships, as well as the disturbing influence of forest loss and fragmentation on hornbills. Complemented by superb full-color images that provide rare glimpses of hornbills in their native habitat and black-and-white illustrations that highlight intriguing aspects of hornbill behavior."

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Handbook of the Birds of the World, Vol. 6: Mousebirds to Hornbills

Edited by Josep Del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott and Jordi Sargatal

Lynx Edicions


This volume covers mousebirds, trogons, kingfishers, todies, motmots, bee-eaters, rollers, ground-rollers, cuckoo-rollers, hoopoes, wood-hoopoes and hornbills.

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The Asian Hornbills: Ecology and Conservation

Editor: Pilai Poonswad

White Lotus


"This volume, based on the Second International Asian Hornbill Workshop held in Bangkok and Khao Yai National Park in 10-18 April, 1996, contains 29 chapters on virtually all aspects of hornbill field biology and conservation."

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Hornbills: Masters of Tropical Forests

A Photographic Life History of Hornbills from over 15 Years of Experience in Hornbill Research at Khao Yai National Park, Thailand

Atsuo Tsuji

Sarakadee Press


"This volume deals with four species: Great, Wreathed, Brown and Oriental Pied Hornbill. Written under the editorial directorship of Dr Pilai Poonswad of the Hornbill Research Foundation, it contains six chapters covering hornbill behaviour, breeding, and biology. It is exceptionally well illustrated."

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Alan Kemp

Colour plates: Martin Woodcock

Oxford University Press


320 pages, 14 colour plates, 24 line drawings, 56 maps

This is the first comprehensive study of the 54 species of Hornbills. There are general chapters on the world of hornbills, the design of hornbills, non-breeding behaviour and biology, breeding biology, relationships and evolution of hornbills and conservation. Individual species descriptions include information on range, status and distribution, The accompanying colour plates by Martin Woodcock show adult and juvenile birds for each species and subspecies.

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Manual to the Conservation of Asian Hornbills

Editor: Pilai Poonswad and Alan Kemp

Asian Hornbill Project


"This book contains most of the information currently known about the status, distribution and biology of Asian hornbills. Each country is treated in a separate chapter and there are additional chapters on identification, habitats, ecology and study techniques. The large format volume is richly illustrated with maps, graphs and line drawings plus 24 plates with colour photographs."

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Kingfishers and Related Birds

Joseph Forshaw and William T. Cooper

Lansdowne Editions

1983 to 1994

The most complete and important monograph on this group of birds ever published, with text by Joseph Forshaw, an acknowledged authority, and colour plates by William Cooper. The edition was limited to 1,000 signed and numbered copies. The work was published in three parts. Each part comprised two volumes.

Part I: Alcedinidae
- Volume 1: Ceryle to Cittura
- Volume 2: Halcyon to Tanysiptera

Part II: Todidae to Phoeniculidae
- Volume 3: Todidae, Momotidae and Meropidae
- Volume 4: Leptosomatidae, Coraciidae, Upupidae and Phoeniculidae

Part III: Bucerotidae
- Volume 5: Bucorvus to Anthracoceros
- Volume 6: Buceros to Ceratogymna

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Monograph Of The Bucerotidę, Or Family Of The Hornbills

Daniel Giraud Elliot

Illustrations: J.G. Keulemans

Published by the author


From the preface:

"Could an interest in any ornithological group only be created by the beauty of dress or gracefulness of form of its various members, it might possibly happen that the Bucerotidae would not be selected as the subject for an illustrated monograph; and while their full value is always accorded to these attributes, perhaps occasionally even in an exaggerated degree, yet as Nature never made an ugly object (even the most repulsive thing so called being admirably and wonderfully fitted for the place it is destined to fill in life), beauty of plumage and symmetry of form are by no means the only causes that lead a naturalist to choose any one group as an especial object for study. The very peculiar appearance of the majority of the birds contained in this volume, as well as the extraordinary habits and structure common to all, which make them to differ from other feathered creatures, together with the generally meagre accounts of many of the species, only to be met with by searching numerous publications, were the chief reasons that induced me to select this family as the subject of my fifth illustrated monograph. Scattered as the species are over many countries, it has not fallen to the lot of any one ornithologist to observe all of them in their native haunts ; but beside what could be gathered from published accounts, to be found in various journals written in many languages, I have been most kindly aided by those who have enjoyed opportunities of observing certain species in the localities where the birds dwell."
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Last updated August 2013