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Home » Information » Crowned Hornbill in Uganda (“Tockus alboterminatus”)

Crowned Hornbill in Uganda (“Tockus alboterminatus”)

Crowned Hornbill

How Does the Crowned Hornbill in Uganda Look Like?

The Crowned Hornbill in Uganda is one of the African birds in Uganda seen during Uganda birding safaris. The Crowned Hornbill belongs to the subfamily Bucerotinae. The genus Tockus includes the African species, the smallest of all hornbills.

The adult male has sooty-brown plumage on the upperparts, head, chin, throat and breast. The belly is white.

On the wings, the flight feathers are edged buff. The long tail is white-tipped.

On the head, we can see an indistinct, broad, white eyebrow, and a flat crest on the crown with some longer whitish feathers.

The bill is dark orange-red with a casque on the upper mandible. There is a yellow line at base of the bill and the throat skin is dark. The eyes are orange.

Legs and feet are blackish. It has length 50cm and the male weighs between 190-330g while the female from 180-250g.

How Does the Crowned Hornbill in Uganda Sing and Make Calls?

The Crowned Hornbill utters series of melancholy whistles “chleeoo chleeoo”. It also gives bugling calls in threat display. The loud whistling call is usually given by both mates at once, while raising the head.

How Does the Crowned Hornbill in Uganda Feed?

The Crowned Hornbill feeds mainly on arthropods and also takes fruits during the dry season. It consumes snails, small birds, lizards (chameleons), and golden moles.

It takes many insects such as grasshoppers, hairy or hairless caterpillars, termites, wasps, moths and beetles.

It consumes numerous fruits, and also crops (oil palm – Elaeis guineensis), peanuts, maize and bananas.

The Crowned Hornbill forages among the foliage in tree canopy. It often plucks off insects from the vegetation, but it is able to catch them while flying.

How Does the Crowned Hornbill in Uganda Nest?

The Crowned Hornbill nests in natural cavities, in tree trunk or large branches at about 1, 50–12metres above the ground.

The lining is made with bark flakes brought by the male. Then, the female uses her own droppings for sealing the entrance. She is fed by the male through a vertical slit.

How Does the Crowned Hornbill in Uganda Reproduce?

She lays 2-5 white eggs after 1-2 weeks of pre-laying period. She incubates during 25-27 days. The chicks hatch 2-4 days apart. The male feeds the female and the chicks at nest.

The female moults flight feathers and rectrices while she is in the cavity. Then, she breaks down the entrance and both parents feed the young which fledge 46-55 days after hatching.

They remain in family group until the following breeding season. The young have to break down the sealed nest entrance.

This work can last from some hours to several days. They are able to fly very quickly and remain with their parents.

How Does the Crowned Hornbill in Uganda Breed?

The pair-bonds are for life and both mates are territorial. As all hornbills, they nest in cavities into which the female immures herself as soon as she is in laying conditions.

When the sealing of the entrance is done, with only an elongated vertical slit, the female sits on the nest during a pre-laying period of some days, and then, she lays her eggs.

How Does the African Cuckoo in Uganda Reproduce?

The male distracts the hosts while the female lays her egg in their nest. She lays one whitish egg with brownish spots or blotches, similar to the eggs of the Fork-tailed Drongo.

She may remove the existing eggs before laying. The hosts incubate the egg during 11-17 days. The cuckoo chick may eject existing eggs or chicks from the nest if its mother did not make it.

The foster parents feed it and it fledges 20-23 days after hatching.

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