Wild Birds

Silvery-cheeked Hornbills

The Silvery-cheeked Hornbills

The Silvery-cheeked Hornbills (Bycanistes brevis) are uncommon localized residents of the tall evergreen forests of East Africa from Ethiopia to South Africa.

In Zimbabwe, they are threatened by habitat destruction.

Usually, they live in pairs and sometimes roost in flocks of hundreds of individuals.


This is a large bird, with lengths from 75 to 80 cm, characterized by a very large creamy casque on the beak, smaller in females.

The head is silver-grey and the rest of the plumage is black, except for a broad white stripe on the lower back.

Diet / Feeding

This hornbill feeds on fruits, insects, small birds, rodents, small reptiles, and centipedes.

Breeding / Nesting

They breed in spring (September and October) and lay clutches of 1 to 3 white eggs, incubated for 40 days.

The young remain with both parents for circa 80 days.

Hornbill InformationHornbill Index of SpeciesHornbill Species Photo Gallery


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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