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Southern Red-billed Hornbill - BirdForum Opus

Photo by ferd
Tshukudu Park, South Africa, May 2007
Tockus rufirostris


A small, black-and-white Hornbill.

  • Spotted wing-coverts
  • Dark grey on face to upper breast
  • Black tail with white in outer tail
  • Long, slender red bill with a small dark patch on lower mandible
  • Flesh-coloured facial skin and yellow eye

Females are smaller.
Juveniles are similar to males but have a shorter and pale orange bill.


From Angola and northern Namibia to Mozambique and eastern South Africa.


This is a monotypic species.
Was formerly considered included in Red-billed Hornbill.


Tree and bush savanna.


Feeds mainly on insects but takes also small vertebrates like geckos, nestlings and rodents. Some fruits eaten, too.
Feeds mainly on the ground.
Breeding season from March to November. Nest in a natural cavity or in an old barbet or woodpecker hole. The female seals the entrance with its own droppings and food remains. There is one narrow entrance through which the male passes food to the mother and chicks. Lays 2 - 7 eggs.
Often takes over nest of other hornbill species.
Undertakes food-related local movements.


  1. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 2001. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 6: Mousebirds to Hornbills. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334306
  2. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist

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