Red-Billed Hornbill

Introduction: Red-billed hornbills (Tockus erythrorhynchus) are territorial birds, usually seen in pairs or small family groups. They spend much time running around on the ground and are dust and sunbathers. These hornbills roost in trees close to the trunk or a large branch. Predators include Martial, Tawny and Wahlberg's eagles and Lanner Falcon.

Distribution: North-eastern Namibia including Etosha National Park, Caprivi and the Okavango Delta in Botswana.

Diet: Small insects such as beetles, termites and ants. Grasshoppers, centipedes and scorpions are taken in summer.

Description: Small to large hornbill with slightly longer de-curved red bills and typical Bucerotidae plumage, akin to both males and females. Often confused with the southern yellow-billed hornbill which has similar plumage and calls but has a broader yellow bill (not red).

Breeding: Between 3 and 5 eggs are laid after the initial good rains around from September to March. Incubation period is 23 to 25 days. Nest damage caused by elephants is a major cause of chick starvation.

Size: 35 to 45cm.

Weight: 150g.

Birds of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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