Bucorvidae – Ground Hornbills

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill (Female) Bucorvus abyssinicus ©Trevor Hardaker Website

The Bucorvidae or Ground Hornbills are a family of the order Bucerotiformes, with a single genus Bucorvus and two extant species (though possibly including another genus with six extant species). The family is endemic to Sub-Saharan Africa: the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill occurs in a belt from Senegal east to Ethiopia, and the Southern GroThey are large, with adults around a metre tall. Both species are ground-dwelling, unlike other hornbills, and feed on insects, snakes, other birds, amphibians and even tortoises. They are among the longest-lived of all birds and the larger southern species is possibly the slowest-breeding (triennially) and longest-lived of all birds.

It is currently thought that the ground hornbills, along with Tockus and Tropicranus, are almost exclusively carnivorous and lack the gular pouch that allows other, less closely related hornbill genera to store fruit.

According to the IOC the two species of Ground Hornbill in the family Bucorividae are:

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill Bucorvus abyssinicus
Southern Ground-Hornbill Bucorvus leadbetteri

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 2

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