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Do you know this bird?

26 November 2015

 

www.leopard.tv

 

QUESTION:

What is this bird called?

 

ANSWER:

This is a southern yellow-billed hornbill. These hornbills only occur in the far north-eastern parts of South Africa and further north to southern Angola, southern Zambia and southern Malawi and are almost endemic to the bushveld regions of southern Africa. They eat a wide variety of foods. The Waterberg is close to their southernmost distribution in Africa.

The sexes are alike and, as its scientific name indicates, the plumage is a combination of grey, white and black patches and stripes. The head and neck is grey with a broad white eyebrow that extends to the nape, while the underside is white. The large, curved, horny bill is yellow with dark brown cutting edges. In an adult male the bill has a ridge along its entire length but the female only has a ridge close to the body. The eyes are yellow, the bare facial skin parts are pink and the legs and feet are grey. Young birds look like the adults but have grey eyes that first become brown before becoming yellow. Geographical variations mainly involve differences in the intensity of the colour of the plumage. The southern yellow-billed hornbill can be confused with te red-billed and Damara hornbills but the latter two basically have red bills with a yellow base. The southern yellow-billed hornbill flies with a direct flap-and-glide action, basks and preens in the morning sun and roosts against tree trunks.

 

 

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