Where do most of the birds on Earth live?
Scientists think that there are about 9,500 species of birds in the world.
Birds are classified into 23 orders, such as passerines (song birds), accipters (eagles and hawks, for example), galliformes (game birds), and strigiformes (owls) etc.
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What is a Buceros?
Buceros means ox horn.
Buceros is a bird called a hornbill in the Bucerotidae family.
Its bill looks like an ox horn.
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What is a Gular Sac?
A Gular Sac is the throat pouch on some birds.
A Gular Sac is a featherless pouch, or bag, or sac, that is formed by the skin from the lower beak to the neck.
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The Abyssinian Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus abyssinicus) is a large terrestrial bird. It is also known as the Northern Ground Hornbill.
The Abyssinian Ground Hornbill has black feathers with white primary feathers. The male has a patch of blue featherless skin around its eyes and an inflatable patch of bare red skin on its neck and throat. Its beak is long and black with a reddish base. On top of its beak is a black hard structure called a casque. The female is similar to the male, but with dark blue bare skin. Both the male and the female have long eye feathers that look like eyelashes.
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The Visayan Hornbill (Penelopides penelopides panini) is a highly endangered bird in the Bucerotidae family of hornbills. It is a tarictic hornbill.
The male Visayan Hornbill has a creamy-white head and neck, a white upper chest, a reddish-brown lower chest, reddish-brown uppertail feathers, and a creamy-white tail with a broad black tip. Its beak and casque (bony growth on its head) are blackish. Its beak has yellowish ridges. It has orange-brown eyes and pinkish-white eye-rings. The female is black, and her eye-rings are blue.
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The Silvery-Cheeked Hornbill (Bycanistes brevis) is a large African bird with a huge beak.
The Silvery-Cheeked Hornbill has iridescent black feathers with a silvery-grey head, and silvery spots on its cheeks. It has a white rump, white lower back, and white tips on its tail feathers. It has a large cream-coloured casque (bony growth) on its beak. It has dark eyes, and females have red skin around their eyes.
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What is the difference between the African hornbills: Grey Hornbill, Red-Billed Hornbill, and Von der Decken’s Hornbill?
The Grey Hornbill (Tockus nasutus), the Red-Billed Hornbill (Tockus erythrorhynchus), and the Von der Decken’s Hornbill (Tockus deckeni) are all large African birds with a large downward curved beak.
The Grey Hornbill and the Red-Billed Hornbill are grey-brown, with black regions, whereas the Von der Decken’s Hornbill is black and white.
The male Grey Hornbill has a black beak with a cream patch on its maxilla (upper beak), and narrow pale lines on its mandible (bottom beak). The female Grey Hornbill has a large black beak with a dark red beak tip, with half of the maxilla (upper beak) a cream-yellow colour.
The Red-Billed Hornbill has an all-red beak. The male Von der Decken’s Hornbill has a large downward curved two-toned red and ivory-cream beak with a black tip. The female Von der Decken’s Hornbill has a large all-black beak.
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The Von der Decken’s Hornbill (Tockus deckeni) is a large big-beaked African bird.
The Von der Decken’s Hornbill has a black and white body. Its wings and upper tail feathers are black, and it nape, chest, belly, and under tail feathers are white. It has a black patch around its eyes. It has small red cheek patches. The male has a large downward curved two-toned red and ivory-cream beak with a black tip. The female has a large all-black beak.
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The African Grey Hornbill (Tockus nasutus) is a large big-beaked African bird.
The African Grey Hornbill has a grey-brown body with a long white stripe from its eye to the back of its neck (nape), and another white stripe down the centre of its back. It has brown wings edged in white. Its throat and chest are pale grey-brown, and its belly is white.
The male has a large downward curved black beak with a cream patch on its maxilla (upper beak), and narrow pale lines on its mandible (bottom beak). The female has a large black beak with a dark red beak tip, and half of the maxilla (upper beak) is a cream-yellow colour.
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The Black-and-White-Casqued Hornbill (Bycanistes subcylindricus) is also known as the Grey-Cheeked Hornbill. It is a large African bird.
The Black-and-White-Casqued Hornbill is black and white, with a black head and shoulders and white on its wings and underbelly. It has an extremely large casque (cream-coloured bony growth) on its large beak. Its beak is decurved (pointing downwards).
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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.
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What is a casque?
Some birds have a casque.
A casque is a bony growth over the beak (bill) of some hornbill birds.
The casque has a sponge-like centre filled with air.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM
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.
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