A new species of hornbill at the zoo
A pair of grey-cheeked hornbills (Bycanistes subcylindricus) recently arrived at the zoo. The 2 years old male and one-year-old female both come from French zoos. This black-and-white bird has beautiful grey-tipped feathers with green metallic color on its face.
In the wild this species isn’t globally threatened due to its large geographical range from Sierra Leone to northwest Tanzania. It feeds mainly on figs and small animals including insects, snails and lizards.
Like other hornbills, the pair seals the entrance of the nest built inside a natural tree trunk cavity by using mud pellets made by the male. He then feeds the female in the nest through the slit that remains. The female emerges from the nest only two-and-a-half months later, when her chick is ready to fledge.