Trumpeter Hornbill

For the past few years now there has been two (very noisy) annual visitors that visit the original farm house on Fairview Estates. These being two Trumpeter Hornbills.

The Trumpeter Hornbill (Bycanistes bucinator) is a species of bird in the family Bucerotidae, native to Africa. It’s a medium sized bird, with a distinctive black and white appearance and a red or yellow patch of skin on the throat. The name “trumpeter” refers to the bird’s loud, trumpet-like call, which can be heard from a distance.

Trumpeter Hornbills have a large, hooked bill with a casque (a helmet-like structure) on top. They feed mainly on fruit, but also hunt insects, small mammals, and reptiles. They are social birds and often live in large flocks.

These birds are also known for their unique breeding behavior, in which the female seals herself inside a nest in a tree hole using mud supplied by the male with just a small slit for food to be passed through. They will incubate four to five white eggs. This behavior helps to protect the eggs and chicks from predators.

Trumpeter Hornbills are usually found in pairs during the breeding season and will form large flocks outside of the breeding season. They will fly long distances to forage during the dry season. These birds can be found in warm evergreen forests, coastal forests where there is a lot of fruit available.

They are very intelligent birds and when they are kept and fed in captivity then they are very tame and loving birds.

 Image Frank Shufelt