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Species Guide
A photo of a Austen's Brown Hornbill (Anorrhinus austeni), male
Austen's Brown Hornbill, Male

Austen's Brown Hornbill

Anorrhinus austeni

The Austen's brown hornbill, a medium-sized avian, presents a plumage primarily of brown with a tail that is white-tipped. The male of the species is distinguished by his white cheeks and throat, a pale creamy bill, and rufous-brown underparts, while the female features a darker head and throat.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the Austen's brown hornbill, look for the male's distinctive white cheeks and throat, and the pale creamy bill. The female, on the other hand, can be recognized by her dark head and throat. Both sexes have a white-tipped tail which is a key feature for identification.


This hornbill species is known to inhabit a range of forest environments, from the deciduous and evergreen forests of lowland plains to the fringes of pine and oak forests in hilly regions. However, they are primarily found in hill forests.


The Austen's brown hornbill can be found in the forests stretching from northeastern India through to Vietnam and northern Thailand. For those in India, the Namdapha National Park in the Changlang District of Arunachal Pradesh is an excellent location to observe these birds.


Austen's brown hornbills are social creatures, often found in territorial groups ranging from 2 to 15 individuals. They exhibit co-operative breeding behaviors, with a dominant breeding pair, male helpers, and additional females contributing to the rearing of the young.


These hornbills are co-operative breeders, utilizing natural cavities or old holes made by the great slaty woodpecker for nesting. The breeding system includes a dominant pair and a social structure that involves male helpers and sometimes additional females.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Austen's brown hornbill is quite varied, including a multitude of fruit species, arthropods, and small animals such as bats, snakes, lizards, snails, earthworms, and even the chicks and eggs of other birds.

Conservation status

The Austen's brown hornbill is currently classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. This status indicates that the species is facing threats that could lead to its vulnerability in the near future.

The name of this hornbill species honors the naturalist Henry Haversham Godwin-Austen, a testament to his contributions to the study of natural history.

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Austen's Brown Hornbills on Birda


More Hornbills

A photo of a Rufous-necked Hornbill (Aceros nipalensis) , male

Rufous-necked Hornbill

Aceros nipalensis
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