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Common Name: Abyssinian Ground Hornbill Scientific Name: Bucorvus abyssinicus

LEAST CONCERN Abyssinian Ground Hornbill Distribution: Central Africa Habitat: Grassland & Forest Height: 90 - 100cm Weight: 3 - 4kg Diet: Omnivorous

The Abyssinian ground hornbill is a large bird. The bird has black feathers over the majority of its body, however the primary feathers are white. The bill is large and black and at the point where the bill meets the head there is a casque which is a horny lump. There is a splash of red at the top of the bill. The Abyssinian ground hornbill has an area of bare skin under the chin which is red and blue in the male and only red in the female. This can be inflated. The species has long eyelashes, large thick legs and feet with broad soles. The Abyssinian ground hornbill is found in sub Saharan Africa where it occupies dry savannah, steppe and woodland habitats. The species is found from north of the equator in Gambia to Nigeria, Somalia, Uganda and central Kenya. The hornbill has a very varied diet and will take small mammals, lizards, amphibians, birds and spiders as well as fruits and seeds. The Abyssinian ground hornbill constructs a nest in an earth bank or a tree which is evacuated using the bill. The nest is lined with dry leaves and grasses. The female lays 2 eggs which she incubates for 37 – 39 days. She is not sealed into the nest like the majority of hornbill species are. One chick hatches before the other and when the second chick is born, there is competition for food. The weaker of the two chicks dies. The remaining chick then stays in the nest for 3 months and is feed by the parents for an additional 9 months after leaving the nest. The Abyssinian ground hornbill is mature at 4 years of age. They are usually found in pairs, with or without offspring. The hornbill is believed to bring good luck.