Calao - EvisGreat hornbill – Evis

I’m the troublemaker at La Ferme, I love to annoy other birds and the staff!

About Great hornbill – Evis

Scientific name :

silvery-cheeked hornbill

Common name :

calao à joue argent

Native to :

West Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania

Maximum size :

35 cm

Weight :

up to 200 g

Conservation status :

Least Concern

Reproduction :

it nests in the hollow of a tree or the crack of a cliff which helps to protect its brood from predators. The female is enclosed, covered with a mixture of mud, droppings and saliva. A single crack is used by the male to feed the mother and her chicks. The female moults (loses her feathers) to line the bottom of the nest. She can lay up to 4 eggs.

Diet :

omnivorous with an insectivorous tendency (fruit, seeds and shoots but 60% of its diet is made up of small animals, insects, snails, mice, lizards and frogs)

Characteristics :

it is known for its large beak, which is unique to this family. It looks for food on the ground or high up in tall trees. It has a mutualistic relationship with dwarf mongooses. It eats insects which the mongooses disturb and dig up. In return, it warns them of the presence of predators by letting out a cry.

Location in the Tropical Reserve :

the birds are free to roam; their nests are in the roof of the hothouse

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