Today I want to write about a really cool, amazing bird, the southern ground-hornbill.
Here are five interesting facts about them:
- These amazing birds grow up to 1.3 metres long, making them the largest species of hornbill in the world.
- They are excellent hunters, walking along the ground and using their huge beaks to catch a wide range of prey, including lizards, snakes, birds, small mammals, insects and even rabbits, tortoises and monkeys. They also eat seeds and fruit.
- Southern ground-hornbills are the slowest breeders of any bird in the world. They lay 1-3 eggs, but usually only one chick survives. The parents rely on a small group of others to raise and feed their chick, which takes up to 2 years to become an independent adult. They are unable to breed until they are about 7 years old. It’s estimated that a group only raises one adult every nine years, so thankfully they live for up to 60 years.
- They live in very large territories and are very loud, making calls that can be heard up to 3 kilometres away to defend their territories.
- Southern ground-hornbills are found in open grasslands and savannah throughout sub-Saharan Africa. They are considered vulnerable to extinction due to loss of habitat and because it takes a long time for their numbers to recover.
I hope that you found these facts interesting and learned something new.
Are there any other interesting facts that you would like to share about southern ground-hornbills?