The Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill (Tockus leucomelas) is a hornbill found in southern Africa.
This hornbill is a common, widespread resident of the dry thorn fields and broad-leafed woodlands. Frequently they can be sighted along roads.
It is a medium-sized bird, with a length between 48 to 60 cm, characterized by a long yellow beak with a casque (a large display growth on the upper bill) (casque reduced in the female).
The skin around the eyes and in the malar stripe (skin around the eyes) 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.
Diet / Feeding
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 3 to 4 white eggs in their nest cavities and incubate them for about 25 days. Juveniles take about 45 days to mature.
- BirdLife International (2008). . In: IUCN Red List 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
- Gordon Lindsay Maclean – Robert’s Birds of South Africa, 6th Edition
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