The Southern Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus cafer) is a large bird with a heavy curved beak found in southern Africa, especially in central Kenya, Botswana, and South Africa.
The Southern Ground Hornbill has dull black feathers, a small rounded casque (bony growth) on its head, bright red skin around its eyes, and a pouch under its chin. It has long eyelashes.
It can grow to about one metre (44 inches) tall. It has short legs and long tails.
Its voice sounds like a lion’s roar.
The Southern Ground Hornbill likes open grasslands and woodlands. It can walk up to 11 kilometres (7 miles) a day, but will fly if it cannot walk. It feeds along the ground, looking for rodents with his beak. It sticks its beak into holes. It eats rodents, rabbits, snakes, lizards, toads, snails, and large insects.
It flies towards bushfires so that it can catch the insects and small animals that are trying to escape the flames.
Females lay one or two eggs on a bed of leaves in a tree hole, rock face, or river bank.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM