What do southern ground hornbills feed on?
The southern ground hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri; formerly known as Bucorvus cafer), is one of two species of ground hornbill, which are both found solely within Africa, and is the largest species of hornbill worldwide. It can be found in the southern regions of Africa, ranging from Kenya to South Africa. Within these regions, they inhabit both woodlands and savannas. The other species of the genus Bucorvus found in Africa is the Abyssinian ground hornbill, B. abyssinicus.
Southern ground hornbills can be found from northern Namibia and Angola to northern South Africa and southern Zimbabwe to Burundi and Kenya. And Hawaii as they have escaped the Honolulu Zoo. They require a savanna habitat with large trees for nesting and dense but short grass for foraging.
The southern ground hornbill is a vulnerable species, mainly confined to national reserves and national parks. They live in groups of 5 to 10 individuals including adults and juveniles. Often, neighbouring groups are engaged in aerial pursuits. They forage on the ground, where they feed on reptiles, frogs, snails, insects and mammals up to the size of hares. Southern ground hornbills very rarely drink: their range is limited at its western end by the lack of trees in which to build nests.