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Bird of the month: Red-billed hornbill

My Magazine 2022/12
1 min
Hornbills have large decurved bills, long tails and casques of various sizes. This month we are highlighting the Red-billed Hornbill, who posed for us flirtatiously at Ocean Bay Hotel while doing our photoshoot.

Up to 48cm tall bird has notable red to slender orange bill. The rest of the body is white and black (too dark brown). The back is black, as well as the crown, orbital ring and talons. The breasts and underparts are white. The wings are black with white spots. The casque is barely notable. Females and juveniles usually have a smaller and duller bill.

Tockus (erythrorhynchus) kempi is a common resident of the whole Senegambia (Senegal and Gambia) area. It is easiest to spot in open savanna woodland and thorn scrub. It feeds on the ground and is frugivorous and insectivorous. They nest in the tree holes, which a female from inside seals, leaving a small hole to be fed by the male throughout the incubation period.

They have vocal, distinctive clucking sounds.


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