The Southern Ground-Hornbill (Afrikaans name, Bromvoel) was a bird that I really wanted to see in real life, it is a great big bird about the size of a turkey. On three trips to Kruger National Park we had only seen a juvenile and since then I have been searching for the sighting of an adult.
We went to Mala Mala for the New Year and our guide, Ross told us he had seen them quite often and in fact he could take us to the place where one was in a nest. Great Excitement and off we went, we could see the face of the Hornbill in the hollow of the tree but no whole bird anywhere to be seen.
We went back in the afternoon and the bird had left the nest and still no Hornbills anywhere. On our last afternoon our guide took us to another area where he said he had seen some a while ago. Off we went and my heart stopped! There they were, two of them, in the grass catching grasshoppers. For the first ten minutes I just sat there watching them, it was such an amazing sight.
Once I had, had my time filling my eyes with the sight of them, only then did I pick up my camera to capture them before they decided to leave. Our guide told us that the whole family takes turns to feed whichever parent is sitting on the nest and that as the elephants are pushing over the big trees there is less place for the Southern Ground-Hornbill to nest and resulting in these birds becoming scarcer.
The Southern Ground-Hornbill has a deep boom of a call with one bird calling “how, how-much-is-it” and the other answering in a lower voice “one-pound-two-and-six”
So happy that my dream to see this lifer has come true 🙂