Wild Birds

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills (Tockus leucomelas)

The Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills (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.

Close up of Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills
Close up of Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill


Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill 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.

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills sitting on the branch of a tree.
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills sitting on the branch of a tree.


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

Copyright: Wikipedia. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from Wikipedia.org … Additional information and photos added by Avianweb.

Please Note: The articles or images on this page are the sole property of the authors or photographers. Please contact them directly concerning any copyright or licensing questions. Thank you.




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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also
Back to top button