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Von der Decken's Hornbill

From Opus

MalePhoto by Jankees
Photo by Jankees

Alternative names: Decken's Hornbill

Tockus deckeni


[edit] Identification

35cm. A small, pied Hornbill.

  • White underparts
  • Black wings with white middle secondaries and middle greater coverts
  • Long black tail, outer rectrices white
  • White head with black around eye and on crown
  • Red bill and casque with yellow outer half
  • Fleshy throat skin

Females are smaller and have a smaller black bill and casque.
Juveniles have a small dark horn bill with yellow patches and spotted wing-coverts.

FemaleCarole-AnneSerengeti National park, Tanzania, July 2010
Serengeti National park, Tanzania, July 2010

[edit] Similar species

Jackson's Hornbill has spotted wing-coverts.

[edit] Distribution

Eastern Africa, especially to the east of the Rift Valley, from Ethiopia south to Tanzania.
Widespread and locally common.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species.
Jackson's Hornbill was formerly considered a subspecies of this species.

[edit] Habitat

Thorn scrub and similar arid habitats.

[edit] Behaviour

The diet includes insects, fruit and seeds.
Forages mainly on ground but also high up in fruiting trees.
Breeding season February to July. 2-4 white eggs are laid in a tree hole, which is blocked off with a cement made of mud, droppings and fruit pulp. There is only one narrow opening, just big enough for the male to transfer food to the mother and the chicks. Once the chicks and the female are too big to fit in the nest, the mother breaks out and rebuilds the wall, then both parents feed the chicks.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 2001. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 6: Mousebirds to Hornbills. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334306

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