Yellow-Billed Hornbills are a distinctive bird that is widespread in South Africa, including in Kruger National Park. They are also called ‘flying bananas’ because of their huge bills that are yellow and look just like bananas! They are distinguished by their very large, downward curved yellow beaks. They feed mainly on the ground, foraging for seeds, insects, spiders and even scorpions. They may catch snakes, which they kill by bashing them on against a hard surface. They swallow their prey whole, letting indigestible parts pass through their digestive system. Yellow-Billed Hornbills are known to forage cooperatively with Dwarf Mongooses, catching prey items that the mongooses scratch up from the ground. In return, the hornbills alert the mongooses to danger from overhead raptors.


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