The yellow Hornbill has been made famous by the movie The Lion King, where it is used as a character named Zazu. As a common resident to the reserve it is not rare to see these hornbills, but every guests' reaction to this bird is one of amazement. The huge yellow bill leaves everyone fascinated and obsessed with trying to get a photo.
Being a common resident does not mean that this bird is boring by any stretch of the imagination. It has a very wide range of diet, consisting of both invertebrates and small vertebrates. Yellow-billed hornbills will eat insects, bird chicks, frogs, chameleons, ants, termites and the list goes on.
The species is known to forage co-operatively with dwarf mongoose, catching prey items that the mongoose scratch up from the ground. In return the hornbills alert the mongoose to danger from overhead raptors. There have been records of hornbills waiting expectantly at mongoose burrows, eager for the foraging to begin.
This species nests in naturally occurring holes in trees or in abandoned woodpecker or barbet nests.
Hornbills are a sociable species, generally living in small groups. They have a very distinctive clucking call. Once one bird starts calling, the whole group will often join in, creating a cacophony of sound. In the bushveld you will often see two hornbills sitting together, clucking away with very entertaining wings open, back and forth rocking, head bowing display.