Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

(Bucorvus abyssinicus)

The Abyssinian ground hornbill definitely isn’t a vegetarian, even small mammals tend to end up in its beak from time to time. At a size of about 1 m, its wings reach an impressive span of up to 185 cm.


Africa, south of the equator

Savannas, dry forests, grasslands, Ethiopian highlands

Grasshoppers, snakes, birds and small mammals

Not endangered

approx. 100 cm tall

up to 4 kg

Gestation period
40 days

Frequent silver wedding anniversaries
Ground hornbills can live for 30 years and lead lifelong monogamous relationships. They live in a community with about ten other birds, of which only the couple of the highest rank breeds.

Growing up at home
The female lays one to two eggs, only one of which usually survives. The young bird leaves the nest after 90 days and remains with its parents for three to four years – until it reaches sexual maturity.

Did you know...
Hard to believe: Ground hornbills can run at speeds of up to 30 kph. Even though this large bird is a strong flyer, it spends most of its time on the ground. Its unfeathered skin is bright red for males and red and blue for females.