Head and Shoulders

Head and Shoulders

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill   Tockus leucomelas

The southern yellow-billed hornbill is a hornbill found in southern Africa. It is a medium sized bird, 48–60 centimetres (19–24 in) in length, characterized by a long yellow beak with a casque. The casque is smaller in the female. The skin around the eyes and in the malar stripe is pinkish. The related eastern yellow-billed hornbill from north-eastern Africa has blackish skin around the eyes.

They have a white belly, grey neck, and black back with abundant white spots and stripes. They feed mainly on the ground, where they forage for seeds, small insects, spiders and scorpions. Termites and ants are a preferred food source in the dry season.

Females lay three to four white eggs in their nest cavities and incubate them for about 25 days. Juveniles take about 45 days to mature. This hornbill is a common, widespread resident of the dry thorn fields and broad-leafed woodlands. They can often be seen along roads.

This image was captured at Lake Panic, Kruger National Park, South Africa.

View this and similar images on my Flickr site — Duncan’s Flickr Page

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