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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill

Afrikaans name: Geelbek-neushoringvoël

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill tosses some tomato into the air at a picnic spot in Kruger National Park

A Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill eating leftover tomato at a picnic site in Kruger National Park

Photo © Steven Herbert

Tockus leucomelas

Any visitor to a bushveld game reserve like Kruger National Park will be familiar with the Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill. They are common in camps and picnic sites and are always looking for a bit of leftover food.

The yellow bill of this species is distinctive making it easy to identify.

Males and females look similar but the casque on the bill of the female is smaller.

The Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill nests in holes in trees where up to 4 eggs may be laid. The female incubates the eggs for around 25 days.

Besides being on the lookout for leftover human food they eat insects, spiders, scorpions and seeds.

Their preferred habitats are woodland and dry thornveld.

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill on a table at Afsaal Picnic Site in Kruger National Park

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above and below - The Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill is not shy around humans - especially when there is the prospect of food around. In Kruger National Park they are common around picnic and camp sites.

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill on a braai at Kruger National Park

Photo © Steven Herbert

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 184

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1959 - Page: 105

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 105

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 98

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 138

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 153

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 44

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 130

Ian Sinclair's Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 186

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 258

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 258

Questions and Answers - Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Year Published: 1990 - Page: 8

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Year Published: 1949 - Page: 174

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 290

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 303

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 399

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 395

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 260

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 266

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 143

Wild Issue 38 - Author: - Year Published: 2017 - Page: 73

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 130

List of South African Birds

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