The Northern Red-Billed Hornbill (Tockus erythrorhynchus) is a bird from east Africa with a large red beak.
The Northern Red-Billed Hornbill is mainly white with mottled black and white wings, grey upperparts, a black cap, a long tail, and a long, thick, red beak curving downwards. It has white feathered legs and black feet.
They grow to 42 centimetres (17 inches) tall, which is one of the smallest species of hornbills.
The Northern Red-Billed Hornbill is omnivorous, eating insects, fruit and seeds. It feeds mainly on the ground. It lives in savannahs and woodlands.
During incubation, the female lays 3-6 white eggs in a tree hole. The nest has only one narrow opening, that enables the male to give food to the mother and the chicks. The female protects her young against intruders by building a wall across the opening of her nest, which she seals so that she is walled inside with her chicks.
When the chicks grow too big for the nest, the mother breaks open the wall, so that both parents can feed the chicks.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM