The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Trumpeter Hornbill

Afrikaans name: Gewone Boskraai

Trumpeter Hornbills in flight

Photo © Steven Herbert

Bycanistes bucinator

Trumpeter Hornbills are medium sized birds with a big voice. Their loud calls often sound like crying babies.

They are normally found in smallish flocks and can normally be seen in the tops of trees or flying overhead.

In South Africa they are found from around Port Elizabeth and up the east coast through to Limpopo.

Trumpeter Hornbills like areas of low-lying forest, preferably near water.

They feed mainly on fruit and will often remain in the same tree for long periods of time if it is well stocked with fruit. They will also take small insects and have been known to raid the nests of other birds, stealing their eggs and chicks.

A natural hole in a tree is the Trumpeter Hornbills first choice for nesting. The female is sealed inside the cavity leaving just a small slit exposed to the outside world. She will remain inside here for 3 months! The male collects food and feeds the female and chicks through the slit. Between 2 and 4 eggs are laid.

References and further reading

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

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

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 25

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: 258

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 392

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 395

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 301

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 286

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 225

Roberts Bird Guide - Author: Hugh Chittenden - Published: 2007 - Page: 44

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 260

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 260

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

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 184

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 71

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

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 119

Common Birds of the North Coast - Author: Bing Comrie - Published: 2005 - Page: 50

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

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 152

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

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

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 168

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 97

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

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: 184

BirdLife South Africa


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