Ground Hornbill Chick
January 6, 2016
For many years Senalala has participated in a program to provide nesting habitat for resident Southern Ground Hornbills (Bucorvus Leadbeateri). This large bird species is endangered primarily due to habitat loss. This year we are fortunate to have seen the fruits of our efforts (in providing an artificial nesting environment) as witnessed in the above picture. The southern ground hornbill is an obligate cooperative breeder, with each breeding pair always assisted by at least two other birds. It is known via experiments in captivity that birds without six years experience as nest helpers are unable to breed successfully if they do become breeders. This suggests that unaided pairs cannot rear young and that helping skills as a juvenile is essential for rearing young as an adult.