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Southern Ground Hornbill

Bucorvus leadbeateri


  • Southern Africa


  • Savannahs, woodlands, and grasslands


  • Reptiles
  • Frogs
  • Snails
  • Insects
  • Mammals


  • Males 7.5-14 lbs, Females 4-10 lbs


  • 3′-4′ long


  • 5′


  • 40-50 years

A Well-Grounded Bird

These large, carnivorous birds run along the ground spearing insects, reptiles, and small mammals with their beaks. Mated pairs raise one chick at a time which stays with them for years, joining the family group alongside elder siblings. All members of the group cooperate in raising the chick.

Did You Know?

  • Their long eyelashes, which are actually feathers, offer protection from the sun and dust.
  • This bird carries several prey in its bill until enough are gathered to eat all at once.
  • They have white feathers that can only be seen in flight.
  • Females have blue skin on their throats.

Conservation Status

A slow reproductive rate, habitat loss to livestock and agriculture, and human persecution have caused this species’ numbers to dwindle in their home range.

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