Summer is about new life. Impala lambs, wildebeest calves and warthog piglets are to be found around every corner. the elephants have their share of infants. Birds are nesting, termites are emerging from their colonies, and life is bursting out of every seam. If I had to pick just one reason why I love summer in the bush, it is this. New births. The hope for the future.Read More
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.
The Limpopo Province, with its vast unexplored areas and diverse habitats, offers one of the most exciting birding destinations in Southern Africa.
Habitats range from vast tracts of montane grassland to afro-temperate forests, bushveld and wetlands. Over 600 bird species have been recorded in the province, of which 420 are resident.
Birdlife abounds in Limpopo and provides even the most discerning birder with boundless pleasure. The birds most frequently admired remain the raptors, some of which are the following: African Fish Eagle, Bateleur, Martial Eagle, Black Eagle, Crowned Eagle and the Giant Eagle Owl.