Silvery-cheeked Hornbill | Bycanistes brevis

Robert's Birding Information: Silverycheeked Hornbill

The Silvery-cheeked Hornbill is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Bucerotidae bird family group which includes birds such as Typical Hornbills.

The description for the Silvery-cheeked Hornbill (Latin name Bycanistes brevis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Bycanistes brevis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 456 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 157. You will find a picture of the Silvery-cheeked Hornbill on page 160.

The Silvery Cheeked Hornbill is known as a "lifer" in the birding circles of South Africa.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Silvery-cheeked Hornbill between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Silvery-cheeked Hornbill is known in Afrikaans as Kuifkopboskraai.

The Silvery-cheeked Hornbill has a height of 80 cms and weighs around 1300 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured brown. The Bycanistes brevis has a grey coloured throat, black legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is brown.

Legs are black.

Throat is grey.

Back is black.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult  
Female Adult  
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Silverycheeked Hornbill Feeding Habits ...

The Silvery-cheeked Hornbill is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage.

The Bycanistes brevis attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

The Bycanistes brevis forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

Silvery Cheeked Hornbill Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Silvery-cheeked Hornbill is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 6 eggs and they are coloured white.

The bird builds its nest within a tree cavity just a few meters above the ground. The hole in the tree is normally reused in the next nesting season.

The Silvery-cheeked Hornbill is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.