Gotcha! Karen van Damme snapped this southern yellow-billed hornbill just as it captured its meal. These hornbills are omnivorous and will snack on insects, small rodents, seeds and fruits. Watch one feeding and you’ll notice that this bird has a way of picking up food with the tips of its bill, then tossing it backwards to swallow. A bit like someone trying to swallow a distasteful pill!
These birds abound in northern parks like Kruger, Mapungubwe and Kgalagadi, and are always worth watching. You may notice pairs perched on a clearly visible branch, high up in a tree, as they make their loud ‘tok tok tok tok tok tokatokatoka’ call. With the head tucked to the breast, they will bounce up and down as the call builds to a crescendo. This is followed by a moment’s silence before it starts all over again.
Guest Blog by Wild Card Magazine