(Bucorvus abyssinicus)

“Beaker” plays with a feather
Distribution: Abyssinian Ground Hornbills are found in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Distribution: Abyssinian Ground Hornbills are found in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Size: Abyssinian Ground Hornbills are about 3 feet tall, can have a wingspan of 6 feet, and weigh 8-9 pounds.

Diet: Hornbills typically forage as they walk along on the ground and eat small animals such as lizards, snakes, rodents, and insects, as well as some fruits and seeds.

Lifespan: Abyssinian Ground Hornbills can live for 40 years in the wild.

Reproduction: Reproductive age is around four years. Nests are on or near the ground in tree trunks or stumps. The female lays two eggs, which she incubates for a month while the male brings her food. The two babies compete for food, and after a few days one of them dies from starvation. Chicks remain in the nest for three months but may still be fed by the parents for nine months.

Did You Know?

  • Male hornbills have red on their throat pouch while females’ pouches are all blue.
  • Abyssinian Ground Hornbills are listed as a vulnerable species and can only be found in reserves.
  • These birds prefer to walk or run. They typically only fly when startled or upon encountering tall or dense vegetation.
  • Hornbills are the only birds with the first two neck vertebrae fused together.
  • Hornbills have long eyelashes which are actually modified feathers!