Great Hornbill
Hindhede Nature Park
10 Oct 2017

General details
Species Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis
Record ID 10118
Date 10 Oct 2017
Location Hindhede Nature Park
Count 1 individual
Age 2CY+
Sex male
Date added 05 Jan 2022

Committee's view
A majority of the Records Committee voted that the individual is more likely to be an escaped bird until further evidence of this species' dispersal/visit to Singapore surface. Points discussed are summarised below.

For escape

While being a large-sized frugivore, the Great Hornbill is so far known to have a relatively restricted home range of about 20km2. (Poonswad & Tsuji, 1994).

Sightings of this species are not widespread in south Johor (see eBird; Wells 1999). Moreover, similarly sized (or smaller) Hornbills such as Wreathed Hornbill that have wider home ranges (Datta & Rawat, 2006; Naniwadekar, Mishra & Datta, 2015) that are regular in Johor are not reported in Singapore.

This species is known to be in captivity locally (with two committee members detecting a bird as recently as 2021) and escapes have previously been reported.

For wild

An individual was seen at the same site in late 2016 ( and was not detected since. One bird then reappearing at the same site a year later suggests a returning bird that wandered from elsewhere (presumably Johor).

The home range of this species could be wider than what is currently known, because the observation that the bird was absent for a full year suggests that it wandered away from Singapore and back (on the premise that this was a returning bird) . 

While the bird is known to be in captivity, owners of such a species would likely secure their pet properly.


Poonswad & Tsuji (1994)

Datta & Rawat (2006)

Naniwadekar, Mishra & Datta (2015)

Vote results Cat A: 2, Cat E1: 6
Verdict Accepted / Escapee (Verifiable)
Placed in Cat E1

References (see all)
References eBird


Bird Society of Singapore. (2022). Record 10118: Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis. Retrieved June 15, 2024, from

Credit for photo(s): Martin Kennewell

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