ANIMAL: Von der Decken’s Hornbill Tockus deckeni Type of Animal: Hornbill Habitat: Thorn scrub, open bush, scrub woodland, steppe, dry savanna, semi-desert Location(s): S.E. Ethiopia & Somalia, much of Kenya, & C. & E. Tanzania Appearance: Both sexes have white plumage w/ black wings/tail, male has red-ivory two-tone bill, female has all black bill. Male larger than female. Food/Diet: Snails, mice, rats, squirrels, lizards, tree frogs, nestling birds, insects, grubs, fruit, berries, seeds, baby tortoises, small snakes, birds’ eggs Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding in zoos & aviculture Lifestyle: Monogamous pairs, often form flocks of 20-40 outside of breeding/nesting season Additional Info: Called: Male-Cock Female-Hen Young-Chick Group-Flock Weight: Male-6 oz Female-4 oz Gestation: 2 months Height: Male-1.6 ft Female-1.4 ft Body Length: Male-1.6 ft Female-1.4 ft Life Span: 10 years in wild, up to 20 years in captivity Tail Length: 1 ft Main predators are raptors, leopards, lions, caracals, servals, snakes, crocodiles, wild dogs, domestic dogs, monkeys & baboons. They’re diurnal birds. They vocalize using loud, monotone calls. Somewhat territorial during breeding season. Sexually mature at 2 years old. Fun Fact(s): They’re sometimes kept as pets. Share interesting symbiotic relationship w/ Dwarf Mongoose. Hornbills act as “watchdogs” & protect mongooses from predators & give mongooses more time to feed. Both parties often engage in insect feasts. Named after German explorer Baron Karl von der Decken. “Zazu” of Lion King fame quite possibly based on this species. Have very interesting nesting habit- pair finds hollow tree cavity & build nest until only narrow opening left for male to bring food to mate, while female walled up during incubation & for 2-3 months after 1-3 chicks hatch. She completely molts her feathers & is unable to fly during incubation period. After this ordeal, female breaks herself free & both parents bring food to chicks for 2 more weeks, until they emerge. Chicks stay w/ parents for 1 year. Male plays protector role.