Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Jessica Moses
1:00 AM 16th September 2023

The Southern Ground Hornbill

Our nature photographer Jessica Moses has been capturing photographs of the southern ground hornbill at Lotherton Hall, Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Hornbills are a type of bird that originate from tropical and subtropical countries such as Africa, Asia and Melanesia. The southern ground hornbill is the largest out of the hornbill family. The SG hornbill is recognizable by its jet-black feathers, it's turkey sized body , and bright red throat. The fleshy part of the SG hornbills throat, called a wattle, identifies its sex. The throat of a male hornbill is completely red, whereas a female develops a patch of violet blue.

The southern ground hornbill lives throughout the southern part of Africa. The SG Hornbill makes its home in grasslands and woodlands, as well as open savannas as long as there are nearby trees to roost in and build nests. SG hornbills live in groups that usually range from two to nine members. Only the dominant male and female of the group breed and most pairs remain monogamous throughout their lives.

According to the IUCN the southern ground hornbill is vulnerable to extinction, though its global population is difficult to quantify. Pollution, logging, and agricultural expansion often result in the destruction of nesting habitats. Flooding and severe weather due to climate change has caused further damage, as has widespread use of pesticides by farmers in hornbill habitat. Researchers estimate that the bird’s original range in South Africa has shrunk by two-thirds over the past century, and by a fifth in the past 15 years alone.

Jessica Moses Instagram address is _geese_flying_