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8 Facts About The African Grey Hornbill

DID YOU KNOW?
 
  1. In spite of it's top heavy appearance the beak of the grey hornbill is made up of a light skin of keratin overlying a bony support. The beak has lots tiny holes that are air chambers, resulting in the beak being incredibly light. The large bill may be the reason why hornbills have the first two neck vertebrae fused together.
  2. Nesting african grey hornbills are monogamous.
  3. When nesting natural cavities are used.
  4. The female lays two to four white eggs.
  5. The female undergoes a molt of all her flight and tail feathers at the time of egg laying. These are re-grown by the time she emerges from the nest.
  6. To protect their young from predators the female seals herself inside the nest using mud, droppings, fruit pulp and her own feathers, leaving only a narrow slit through which the male will feed her and the young. Her mate will bring her and the chicks food as often as 10-20 times a day.
  7. When the chicks are about half-grown, it gets a little cramped inside the nest, the female will break out and rebuild the wall. Both parents will then feed the chicks.
  8. The young grey hornbills break their way out of the nest only when they are ready to fledge.

It's fair to say that African Grey Hornbills are not only beautiful, they are incredible parents.

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