41. African Hornbills

African Hornbills *

There are 24 species of hornbills found throughout Africa.
They are characterized by a long, down-curved bill which is often found to be brightly colored.
Hornbills are omnivorous and use their beaks to pluck fruit and forage for seeds, small insects and spiders on the ground.
Most all species of hornbills are monogamous. A pair will bond for a single season. Upon bonding, the male will courtship feed the female with either solid items or regurgitation. (Yucky, but true.)



They nest in natural cavities in trees and sometimes in cliffs.


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Why feature Hornbills? 

Zazu, the prim and proper bird in The Lion King, was a red-billed hornbill.  His character, who acted as advisor to the king, had a great sense of self-importance. Hornbills can’t be overlooked after one of their species has found Hollywood stardom.