|Similar Hornbill, Tockus, Western red‑billed hornbill, Damara red‑billed hornbill, Tanzanian red‑billed hornbill|
Southern red billed hornbill tockus rufirostris
The southern red-billed hornbill (Tockus rufirostris) is a species of hornbill in the family Bucerotidae, which is native to the savannas and dryer bushlands of southern Africa. It is replaced by a near-relative, the Damara red-billed hornbill, in the arid woodlands of western Namibia. All five red-billed hornbills were formerly considered conspecific.
- Southern red billed hornbill tockus rufirostris
- Southern red billed hornbill
Southern red billed hornbill
The sexes are similar, but males are larger and heavier. Males also have somewhat longer bills, with the lower mandible coloured black to a variable extent. It is distinguishable from other red-billed hornbills by the combination of yellow iris and pale orbital skin (pink to greyish), and the ample blackish plumage streaking from the ear coverts to the side of the neck. The throat is white, and the wing coverts clearly spotted.
The call consists of an accelerating series notes, kuk kuk kuk ... which ends in a crescendo of double notes, kuk-we kuk-we. Unlike other red-billed hornbills they do not raise their wings in display.
It is found from Malawi and Zambia to southern Angola, northeastern Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, eastern Swaziland and northern South Africa (Transvaal and northern KZN province). It occurs in the upper Zambezi valley of Mozambique, but is mostly absent from the eastern lowlands.