Red-billed Hornbill

Red-billed Hornbill (Tockus erythrorhynchus) is from the family of tropical near-passerine birds found in the Old World.

Red-billed Hornbill is a resident breeder in much of sub-Saharan Africa. After breeding the female lays three to six white eggs in a tree hole. The hole is then blocked off with a cement made of mud, droppings and fruit pulp. There is only one narrow aperture, just big enough for the male to transfer food to the mother and the chicks.

When the chicks and the female are too big to fit in the nest, the mother breaks out and rebuilds the wall so that both parents can feed the chicks.

This species has mainly whitish underparts and head and grey upperparts. It has a long tail and a long curved red bill which lacks a casque. Sexes are similar, but the female has a smaller bill. It is a large bird, at 42cm in length, but is one of the smaller hornbills.

This species is omnivorous, taking insects, fruit and seeds. It feeds mainly on the ground and will form flocks outside the breeding season.

This conspicuous bird also advertises its presence with its noisy accelerating tok-tok-tok-toktoktok call.