The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Red-billed Hornbill

Afrikaans name: Rooibekneushoringvoël

Red-billed Hornbill

Red-billed Hornbill grooming

Photo © Steven Herbert

Tockus rufirostris

Red-billed Hornbills are normally seen by themselves or in pairs. They may also occasionally be seen in a small flock, particularly outside of the breeding season. They eat a variety of foods including insects, spiders, scorpions, fruit and seeds. Most of their food is found on the ground and they can often be seen hopping along looking for food.

These Hornbills, like many others, use a cavity in a taller tree as a nest. When ready to lay her eggs, the female will enter the cavity and then seal it up with her own droppings, but she leaves a small slit through which the male will provide food for her. Normally she will lay around 3 to 5 eggs. The female incubates the eggs while the male continues to bring food. The chicks emerge from the nest after about 7 weeks.

The Red-billed Hornbill is sometimes referred to as the Southern Red-billed Hornbill outside of South Africa. This is to distinguish it from other 'red-billed' hornbills found elsewhere. This hornbill is not as common as its relative the Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill. In South Africa they may be found in the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal and across Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng and North West provinces.

References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 183

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 104

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 104

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

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 169

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 138

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 153

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 44

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 62

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 130

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 186

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

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 258

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 258

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 226

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 290

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 303

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 398

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 395

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 260

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 268

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 143

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 174

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 173

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

BirdLife South Africa


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List of South African Birds

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