The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Southern Ground Hornbill

Afrikaans name: Bromvoël

Southern Ground Hornbill in Kruger National Park

Southern Ground Hornbill in Kruger National Park

Photo © Steven Herbert

Bucorvus leadbeateri

The Southern Ground Hornbill is a large bird that can weigh up to 6 kg. In fact it is the largest species of hornbill.

Some people are surprised to find out that the Ground Hornbill can fly. It does, however, spend most of its time on the ground looking for food.

Males are larger than females and all the bare skin on their throats and faces is red while the female is red with some bluish skin on the throat below the bill. Juveniles have yellow skin.

The Southern Ground Hornbill eats a variety of foods including reptiles, insects, amphibians and small mammals.

They live in small groups and may often be seen walking along side roads in game parks like Kruger National Park. Southern Ground Hornbills are quite capable of flying but you tend to see them on the ground. They stroll around in small family groups looking for food on the ground.

Southern Ground Hornbills make their nests in large hollows in trees. The breeding pair need assistance from other birds in the group to successfully raise their chicks.

A Southern Ground Hornbill putting its large bill to good use

Above - They put their large bills to good use

Photo © Steven Herbert

Portrait of Southern Ground Hornbill

Above - Portrait of a Southern Ground Hornbill

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Village Life Issue 23 - Author: - Published: 2007 - Page: 48

Wild Issue 23 - Author: - Published: 2013 - Page: 11

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 130

Southern Africas Threatened Wildlife - Author: John Ledger - Published: 1990 - Page: 50

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Published: 1979 - Page: 29

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 175

Tracks and Tracking in Southern Africa - Author: Louis Liebenberg - Published: 2000 - Page: 28

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 117

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 22

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

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 138

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 402

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 399

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 308

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 293

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 228

Questions and Answers - Endangered Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: John Comrie-Greig - Published: 1992 - Page: 10

Questions and Answers - Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 30

Meeting with Birds - Author: Tom Spence - Published: 1986 - Page: 72

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 262

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 262

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 411

Game Ranger in your Backpack - Author: Megan Emmett and Sean Pattrick - Published: 2013 - Page: 143

go! - Issue 130 - Author: - Published: 2017 - Page: 27

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 110

Country Life - Issue 266 - Author: - Published: 2018 - Page: 60

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 63

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 152

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 78

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 154

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

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 171

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 140

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Published: 1992 - Page: 58

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 105

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 98

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 105

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 185

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