Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill

Scientific Name:
Tockus leucomelas
Sub-Saharan Africa
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About the Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill

The Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill (Tockus leucomelas) is a species of hornbill native to southern Africa.


Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills are typically found in a variety of habitats, including savannas, woodlands, scrublands, and semi-arid regions. They prefer areas with scattered trees and bushes, where they can perch and forage for food. These hornbills are often seen in both natural and human-modified landscapes, including agricultural areas, urban parks, and gardens.


Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills are medium-sized birds, measuring approximately 48 to 60 centimeters (19 to 24 inches) in length, including their distinctive long, downward-curved bill. They have a stout body, a short tail, and relatively long legs adapted for perching and walking on the ground. Their plumage is predominantly black and white, with a yellowish bill and bare patches of skin around the eyes and throat. Best Viewing The best places to view Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills are in habitats with suitable foraging and nesting sites. Look for them perched on tree branches or foraging on the ground, where they can be seen searching for insects, small vertebrates, fruits, and seeds. These hornbills are often observed in small family groups or pairs, with one member of the pair typically guarding the nest cavity while the other forages for food.