Abyssinian ground hornbill

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Abyssinian ground hornbill
Bucorvus abyssinicus -San Diego Zoo-8.jpg
Male at San Diego Zoo
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Bucerotiformes
Family: Bucerotidae
Subfamily: Bucorvinae
Genus: Bucorvus
Species: B. abyssinicus
Binomial name
Bucorvus abyssinicus
(Boddaert, 1783)

The Abyssinian ground hornbill or northern ground hornbill (Bucorvus abyssinicus) is one of two species of ground hornbill. The other is the southern ground hornbill.

The Abyssinian ground hornbill is an African bird, found north of the equator. Groups of ground hornbills have territories of 2–100 square miles. They are diurnal.

In captivity, they can live 35–40 years. Diet in the wild consists of a wide variety of small vertebrates and invertebrates, including tortoises, lizards, spiders, beetles, and caterpillars; also takes carrion, some fruits, seeds, and groundnuts.


The Abyssinian ground hornbill is one of the two largest species of hornbill, the other being the southern ground hornbill. It reportedly averages around 90 to 100 cm (35 to 39 in) tall, around 110 cm (43 in) and weighs approximately 4 kg (8.8 lb). Per Stevenson and Fanshawe, the Abyssinian is a larger species on average than the southern ground hornbill, at 102 cm (40 in), but published weights and standard measurements contrarily indicate the southern species is indeed slightly larger.[2][3] Like its cousin, the Abyssinian ground hornbill has long bare legs for walking. The male has a red throat pouch and the female has a blue throat pouch. Modified feathers form long eyelashes, which protect their eyes from dust.[4]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Bucorvus abyssinicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi by Stevenson & Fanshawe. Elsevier Science (2001), ISBN 978-0856610790
  3. ^ "Birds: Hornbill". San Diego Zoo. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Abyssinian Ground Hornbill". The Sacramento Zoological Society.