Southern ground hornbills.
Southern ground hornbills.

Southern Ground Hornbill

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The southern ground hornbill is the largest species of hornbill, a type of bird with a large beak resembling a cow’s horn.

Southern ground hornbill.

Southern ground hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri), Toronto Zoo.

In the wild southern ground hornbills live in the African savanna where they forage for all sorts of small animals — insects, reptiles, small mammals. Southern ground hornbills have a complicated breeding process that requires several individuals to take care of the young in one nest thus in addition to the actual parents there are always helpers in a family of hornbills. The incubation period for southern ground hornbill eggs is very long, up to 45 days.

Southern Ground Hornbill.

Also southern ground hornbill pairs skip a year or two between breeding periods thus often producing a single chick every three years. This with that slow reproduction process it is not surprising that southern ground hornbills are threatened in the wild.

Further Readings:

Southern ground-hornbill videos, photos and facts – Bucorvus leadbeateri on ARKIVE.
Southern ground hornbill on Wikipedia.
Southern Ground hornbill on the Toronto Zoo website.
Southern ground hornbills on the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve web site.
Hornbill on Wikipedia.
Last updated: October 19, 2014

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