Hornbills


Abyssinian Ground Hornbill
(Bucorvus abyssinicus)
Meaning- Huge Raven like bird.

Range:

Subsaharan Africa from southern Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone east through western Africa, Cameroon, southern Chad, southwestern and southern Sudan and northeastern Zaire to Ethiopia, Uganda and northwestern Kenya. Found in woodland, savanna, and arid steppe habitats.

Size:

Large, black, turkey sized bird with a four foot wingspan.
Length: 90 - 100 cm
Wingspan: 520-600 cm (4 - 6 ft. )
Weight - 3000 - 4000 g ( 8 - 9 lb.)

Diet:
Small animals form the bulk of the diet, including tortoises, lizards, amphibians, mammals, birds, spiders and insects. Also eats carrion and some fruits and seeds. Almost all food is taken from the ground.

Description:

A large turkey sized bird. Overall black in color with white primaries, visible in flight. They have a large black bill with a triangular yellow to orange patch at the base of the upper mandible. The casque arises above the skull at the base of the bill in a short, high curve with two ridges along each side and ends abruptly with the anterior end open. The circumorbital skin is blue. The extensive inflatable bare area on the throat and the inflatable foreneck are red with a blue area at the front of the throat. While males get red on the inflatable throat pouch, females remain all blue. The eyes are dark brown and the legs and feet are black.

Natural History:

They are usually found as pairs, trios, or quartets with young birds. The mean group size is 2.2. Groups have been recorded up to six; usually when they are concentrated at food sources. They fly only if disturbed or when crossing tall grass.

Personal History:          

Cyrano - Hatched at the Abilene Zoological Gardens in 1992 and hand raised by NEI staff. Fiskar & Stryo - Hatched in 1997 at Miami Metro Zoo, hand raised by NEI staff. Romeo & Casanova - Hatched in 1997 at White Oak Plantation in FL., hand raised by NEI staff. Frodo - Hatched on April 1, 2003 at the Oklahoma City Zoo and acquired by NEI later that month.

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Bird: Asian Black Hornbill

Range:
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Personal History:

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Bird: Blyths Hornbill

Range:
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Bird: Silvery-cheeked Hornbill
(Bycanistes brevis)

Range:
South central and southeast parts of Africa from Ethiopia to the northern parts of South Africa including Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, and Mozambique. Found in coastal, mountain, and evergreen forests. 

Size:
Length: 75 - 80 cm (approximately 30 - 31 in.)
Wingspan: approx. 3 ft.
Weight: 800 - 1200g (males larger)

Diet:
Berries, figs, pine nuts, insects, and occasionally small reptiles or mammals.

Description:
The head and neck are a silvery grey color, giving them their name, while the rest of the plumage is an iridescent black excluding the white patches on the lower abdomen, thighs, and parts of tail and wing feathers. Both males and females have a cream colored casque atop their beaks; however, the males have larger casques than the females. 

Natural History:
Similar to most hornbills, Silvery Cheeked Hornbills are cavity nesters. The female will find a cavity in a tree, rock face, or earth bank to go into and lay her eggs. Once inside, the male and female both work to seal the cavity shut (the female from the inside and the male from the outside) with a combination of saliva, mud, food remains, and droppings. They will leave a small vertical slit through which the male will bring and pass food to the female while she incubates the eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the male is now responsible for bringing enough food to the nest to feed everyone inside, requiring him to bring as much as 200 fruits in a single day. When the chicks are a little over a month old the female will break out of the cavity and reseal it leaving the chicks inside so she can help the male bring them food before they are ready to leave the nest. At around 80 days old the chicks will finally break out of the cavity and start learning how to fly.

Silvery Cheeked Hornbills are also important seed dispersers in the forests where they are found. They eat their fruit whole, leaving the seed inside undamaged. Later, they fly to other parts of the forest and defecate the undamaged seeds, helping to spread local flora.

Personal History:
Cinders - Hatched at the Central Florida Zoo in 2011, acquired by NEI at 1 month old.
Rogue - Hatched at the Central Florida Zoo in 2011, acquired by NEI at 1 month old.
Storm - Hatched at the Central Florida Zoo in 2010, acquired by NEI at 1 month old. 
Zuri - Hatched at the Central Florida Zoo in 2008, acquired by NEI at 6 months old.

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Bird: Southern Ground Hornbill or Leadbeater's Ground Hornbill
(Bucorvus leadbeateri)

Range:
Found in sub-equatorial African savannahs, woodlands, and grasslands. Avoid forests and thick woodlands. Because of decreased numbers due to human development, the species is almost gone from South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Size:
Large, black, turkey sized bird.
Length: 90 - 100 cm
Wingspan:520-600 cm (4 - 6 ft. )
Weight - 3000 - 4000 g ( 8 - 9 lb.)

Diet:
Eats everything from insects like beetles, termites, and grasshoppers to animals as large as hares, tortoises, and snakes. Also eats some vegetation and may be considered a scavenger.

Description:
A large turkey sized bird. Overall black in color with white primaries, visible in flight. This bird has a low casque. The extensive inflatable bare area on the throat and the inflatable foreneck are red in the males; while the females have a patch of violet blue on their inflatable throat pouch. The eyes are yellow.

Natural History:
This species is on the decrease due to human development. They commonly run into windows as a result of territoriality against their reflections. Digging for food also makes this species vulnerable to land mines. This bird is normally seen in groups. Groups show territoriality but also participate in cooperative breeding where there is a dominant pair and other individuals who help with the nest. The birds nest in natural holes in dead or living trees. The eggs are white with rough pitted shells. The nesting period lasts 86 days, with a 37 - 43 day incubation period. The species does not tend to attempt to breed every year, and may only fledge one (or no) chick per nest.

Personal History:
Squirt and Sebastian - Hatched and hand raised at the Honolulu Zoo in July 1999 and acquired by NEI in March 2000.

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Bird: Trumpeter Hornbill
(Ceratogymna bucinator)

Range:
South central and southeastern Africa from north central Angola east across south central and southeastern Zaire, Burundi and Tanzania to south central and southeastern Kenya, and south through Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, northeastern Zimbabwe, extreme northeastern Namibia and northern Botswana to eastern South Africa. Found in humid forest, well developed riverine forest, lowland forest, moist woodland, edge, savanna, and second growth woodland habitats.

Size:
Length: 58 - 65 cm (approximately 23.5 in.)
Wingspan: approximately 2 ft.
Weight:430 - 650 g (males larger)

Diet:
Fruits and flying insects.

Description:
Adults are largely black above with white on the uppertail coverts and the tips of the secondaries and inner two pairs of primaries. Some scapulars may also show white tips and there are a few grey streaks on the sides of the head. The throat and upper breast are black, and the rest of the underparts are white. The bill is blackish and the eyes are red-brown. The bare skin around the eyes and on the throat is dark purple to purplish pink, sometimes bright pink. The feet are black. The casque is larger in the male and smaller and terminating halfway along the bill in the female. Juveniles have a rudimentary casque and greyish eyes.

Natural History:
This medium sized hornbill is typical of coastal and riverine forests. The call is a loud, high nasal braying noise that is often prolonged and resembles the cry of a baby. They also give a low gutteral croak when feeding. Often, they are seen in large, noisy flocks. They roost communally and fly long distances in search of fruiting trees. They are sometimes seen over open country and are locally common in Kenyan coastal forests from the lower Tana River south to Tanga. They are common in some parts of their range but rare elsewhere.

Personal History:
Rosie, Dizzy, and Miles - Hatched in 1997 and acquired by NEI at under a year old.
Chuck and Doc - Hatched in 1998 and acquired by NEI at under a year old.
Donald and Lecates -
Gabriella -
Ella - Acquired from a private breeder in September 2001 at 4 months old.

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