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African Grey Hornbill | Tockus nasutus

The African Grey 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 African Grey Hornbill (Latin name Tockus nasutus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Tockus nasutus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 457 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 155. You will find a picture of the African Grey Hornbill on page 160.

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.

This bird is known as Grey Hornbill in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the African Grey Hornbill between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The African Grey Hornbill is known in Afrikaans as Grysneushoringvo?l.

The African Grey Hornbill has a height of 48 cms and weighs around 165 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured black. The Tockus nasutus has a grey coloured throat, black legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are red.

The male Tockus nasutus has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

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 grey

Eyes are red

Bill is black

Legs are black

Throat is grey

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The African Grey Hornbill is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

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

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The African Grey 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 3 to 4 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 African Grey Hornbill is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is found in the arid and semi-arid regions of Southern Africa and it can withstand high day and night temperatures

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The African Grey Hornbill is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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