Sunday, 6 July 2014

Hornbills 4: Von der Decken's Hornbill

Von der Decken's Hornbill (male)
The only African hornbills in the collection are rather smaller than the species I have covered up to now, and occupy a very different environment. The Von der Decken’s Hornbill, Tockus deckeni, is an aridland species associated with thorn scrub and similar habitats in East Africa, along the rift valley from Ethiopia south into Tanzania. In this habitat food is harder to come by than in Asian rainforest, and they feed mainly on the ground, taking fruit, seedpods, insects, and small vertebrates. With such a large range, and a lifestyle that makes it a bird that is opportunistic when it comes to taking advantage of resources that must be variable in location and availability, they seem to be surviving well at present, and are evaluated as Least Concern by the IUCN. The most likely threats are destruction of potential nesting trees and habitat fragmentation.