Hornbill breeding Habits.

Hello FBees and blog followers,

Here is another very interesting extract from one of my recorded
magazines. By Albie Venter from Tape Aids for the Blind. It is
a must read!

Hornbill breeding Habits:

A game drive in Kruger Park doesn’t feel right unless you’ve seen
a Zoezu next to the road.

Hornbills aren’t found exclusively in Africa, there are forest
dwelling Hornbills in Asia. Yet it is one of the continents most
distinctive birds.

Guides from Sabi to Selous, use them as an easy way to get the
guests interested in bird life.

Of the 10 Hornbill species which call Africa home, the most
common are the Southern Yellow billed Hornbill and the slightly
more delicate Southern Red billed Hornbill. They are often
called flying bananas or flying chilly peppers respectively.

The most fascinating aspect of both of these Hornbills behaviour
must be their nesting habits.

When the breeding season arrives, around October, the female
finds a tree cavity and incases herself inside by using droppings
to seal the entrance. Leaving only a narrow slit for the male to
feed her through. This period of captivity can last for up to 45
days.

Inside the hole, she’ll shed her flight and tail feathers, giving
her better mobility in the cramped space and providing a nice
soft nest lining.

The down side of this is that she becomes vulnerable. Even if she
tried to escape, she wouldn’t be able to fly, and she is totally
dependent on the male for food.

Once the chicks hatch, the male isn’t off duty. He has to work
even harder to find food for the chicks. There could be up to 6
in a brood. Space in the cavity becomes increasingly tight as the
chicks grow and eventually the female will crack open the seal
and make her escape. Interestingly, the oldest chick will
immediately close up the cavity again. If this chick is a male,
it will be the only time in his life he will cement a cavity.

With every chick which grows too large for the nest, the process
is repeated until the very last chick has flown away.

Blogger Barry: Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoyed as much
as I did. Please share to your friends.

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