Red billed hornbill

These characterful creatures are generally found in the woodland and grassy areas of Africa, just below the Sahara desert.

Well, the name certainly fits!

You can’t help but notice the rather striking red bill these birds have. It certainly stands out against their mainly white and grey body.

As parents, they make sure their young have the best chance of survival. The female lays her eggs in the nest and then builds a wall across the opening to stop any unwanted visitors, leaving only a small slit through which she is fed by the male and she then feeds the chicks. The chicks start their lives in what is basically a sealed room.

Red billed hornbill questions and answers

What do they eat?
Mainly insects like beetles and grasshoppers. They also eat bulbs and fruit.

How long do the chicks stay with the parent once they leave the nest?
They can stay with them for up to six months.

How many eggs to they lay?
Usually between three and six.

Zoo Membership

We're proud to be members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). Our membership means we share knowledge with leading zoos across the UK and Europe, and we learn from them too.