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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 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

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

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 - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 266

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

List of South African Birds

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