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Southern Ground Hornbill

(Bucorvus leadbeateri)


Grasslands of Southern Africa

Species Info:

The largest Hornbill species of Southern Africa, they live in groups of 3-12 birds with usually only one mature pair. They nest in tree cavities at ground level and typically lay two eggs, but raise only one chick. The group aids in raising the chick until they are adults at around 5 years, when they leave the group. Their diet consists of small mammals, reptiles and insects (and the occasional Meerkats).

Ground Hornbills have a red pouch on their neck which when inflated creates a booming call that can be heard for 5 kilometers. Females can be identified by a bluish patch on their pouch. They walk on their toes instead of placing their foot flat on the ground.

On Exhibit:

Igor, our male is a wild hatch and is on breeding loan from Roger Williams Park Zoo. Havala, our female, was captive born and was purchased from Jacksonville Zoo in 2004. We are currently exploring different techniques to encourage them to breed.