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Kingfisher, Hoopoe, Bee-eater, Roller, Hornbill (Coraciiformes)

The Coraciiformes are a group of usually colorful near passerine birds including the kingfishers, the Hoopoe, the bee-eaters, the rollers, and the hornbills. They generally have syndactyly, with three forward-pointing toes (and toes 3 & 4 fused at their base), though in many kingfishers one of these is missing.

This is largely an Old World order, with the representation in the New World limited to the dozen or so species of todies and motmots, and a mere handful of the more than 90 species of kingfishers. This is the most diverse bird order in body weight, ranging from the 5.5 gram Puerto Rican Tody (Todus mexicanus) to the 4.5 kg Southern Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri), if the hornbills indeed belong under this classification.

The name Coraciiformes means "Raven-like", which is a misnomer (ravens are passerines). Specifically, it comes from the Latin language "Corax", meaning "Raven" and Latin "Forma", meaning "form", which is the standard ending for bird orders.


A basal group of birds is formed by:

  • Family Coraciidae (rollers)
  • Family Brachypteraciidae (ground-rollers)
  • Family Meropidae (bee-eaters)

Then there's a suborder called Alcedini, including:

  • Family Todidae (todies)
  • Family Momotidae (motmots)
  • Family Alcedinidae (river-kingfishers)
  • Family Halcyonidae (tree-kingfishers)
  • Family Cerylidae (water- or belted kingfishers)
Ringed kingfisher, Megaceryle torquata
Above: Ringed kingfisher, Megaceryle torquata, in the Pantanal (Brazil)


A recent study suggest that the following families may belong to a separate order called Bucerotiformes. The results still in dispute though.

  • Family Bucerotidae* (Hornbills)
  • Family Upupidae (Hoopoe)
  • Family Phoeniculidae (Woodhoopoes)

Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus)

Above: male Wreathed Hornbill, Rhyticeros undulatu, in Vogelpark Avifauna (Netherlands)



* More specific taxonomic information about the Hornbills or Bucerotidae can be found below:


Hornbills (Bucerotidae)

Subfamily (Bucerotinae)

Genus Tropicranus  (sometimes included in Tockus)

  1. White-crested Hornbill Tropicranus albocristatus
Genus Tockus
  1. Black Dwarf Hornbill Tockus hartlaubi

  2. Red-billed Dwarf Hornbill Tockus camurus
  3. Monteiro's Hornbill Tockus monteiri
  4. Red-billed Hornbill Tockus erythrorhynchus
  5. Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill Tockus flavirostris
  6. Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill Tockus leucomelas
  7. Jackson's Hornbill Tockus jacksoni
  8. Von der Decken's Hornbill Tockus deckeni
  9. Crowned Hornbill Tockus alboterminatus
  10. Bradfield's Hornbill Tockus bradfieldi
  11. African Pied Hornbill Tockus fasciatus
  12. Hemprich's Hornbill Tockus hemprichii
  13. Pale-billed Hornbill, Tockus pallidirostris
  14. African Grey Hornbill Tockus nasutus
Genus Ocyceros
  1. Malabar Grey Hornbill Ocyceros griseus
  2. Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill Ocyceros gingalensis
  3. Indian Grey-Hornbill Ocyceros biostris
Genus Anthracoceros
  1. Malabar Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros coronatus
  2. Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris
  3. Black Hornbill Anthracoceros malayanus
  4. Palawan Hornbill Antracoceros marchei
  5. Sulu Hornbill Anthracoceros montani
Genus Buceros
  1. Rhinoceros Hornbill Buceros rhinoceros
  2. Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis
  3. Rufous Hornbill Buceros hydrocorax
Genus Rhinoplax (sometimes included in Buceros)
  1. Helmeted Hornbill Rhinoplax vigil
Genus Anorrhinus
  1. Austen's Brown Hornbill, Anorrhinus austeni
  2. Tickell's Brown Hornbill, Anorrhinus tickelli
  3. Bushy-crested Hornbill Anorrhinus galeritus
Genus Penelopides
  1. Luzon Hornbill Penelopides manillae
  2. Mindoro Hornbill Penelopides mindorensis
  3. Visayan Hornbill Penelopides panini
  4. Samar Hornbill Penelopides samarensis
  5. Mindanao Hornbill Penelopides affinis
  6. Sulawesi Hornbill Penelopides exarhatus
Genus Berenicornis (sometimes included in Aceros)
  1. White-crowned Hornbill Berenicornis comatus
Genus Aceros
  1. Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis
  2. Wrinkled Hornbill Aceros corrugatus
  3. Writhed Hornbill Aceros leucocephalus
  4. Rufous-headed Hornbill Aceros waldeni
  5. Knobbed Hornbill Aceros cassidix
Genus Rhyticeros (sometimes included in Aceros)
  1. Wreathed Hornbill Rhyticeros undulatus
  2. Narcondam Hornbill Rhyticeros narcondami
  3. Sumba Hornbill Rhyticeros everetti
  4. Plain-pouched Hornbill Rhyticeros subruficollis
  5. Papuan Hornbill Rhyticeros plicatus
Genus Bycanistes (sometimes included in Ceratogymna)
  1. Trumpeter Hornbill Bycanistes bucinator
  2. Piping Hornbill Bycanistes fistulator
  3. Silvery-cheeked Hornbill Bycanistes brevis
  4. Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill Bycanistes subcylindricus
  5. Brown-cheeked Hornbill Bycanistes cylindricus
  6. White-thighed Hornbill Bycanistes albotibialis
Genus Ceratogymna
  1. Black-casqued Wattled Hornbill Ceratogymna atrata
  2. Yellow-casqued Wattled Hornbill Ceratogymna elata

Subfamily Bucorvinae

Genus Bucorvus
  1. Abyssinian Ground Hornbill Bucorvus abyssinicus
  2. Southern Ground Hornbill Bucorvus leadbeateri
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