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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Trumpeter Hornbill

Afrikaans name: Gewone Boskraai

Trumpeter Hornbills in flight

Photo © Steven Herbert

Bycanistes bucinator

Trumpeter Hornbills are medium sized birds with a big voice. Their loud calls often sound like crying babies.

They are normally found in smallish flocks and can normally be seen in the tops of trees or flying overhead.

In South Africa they are found from around Port Elizabeth and up the east coast through to Limpopo.

Trumpeter Hornbills like areas of low-lying forest, preferably near water.

They feed mainly on fruit and will often remain in the same tree for long periods of time if it is well stocked with fruit. They will also take small insects and have been known to raid the nests of other birds, stealing their eggs and chicks.

A natural hole in a tree is the Trumpeter Hornbills first choice for nesting. The female is sealed inside the cavity leaving just a small slit exposed to the outside world. She will remain inside here for 3 months! The male collects food and feeds the female and chicks through the slit. Between 2 and 4 eggs are laid.


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: 97

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 45

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

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 411

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 395

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 392

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

List of South African Birds

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