Crowned Hornbills damage Aloes in Kei Mouth

Bryan Church reported the unusual behaviour of Crowned Hornbills destroying the succulent plant Aloe arborescens in the coastal village of Kei Mouth. This is the second record the museum has received of such an activity by these birds. The first was on the Holley Farm (Ncera River, near Kidd’s Beach) in August 2011.

Below is a picture of the manner in which the birds remove the leaves from the stem of the plant.


15 to 20 hornbills were noted swooping in on the trees at one time. This is a similiar record for the report received from Mrs Hazel Holley in 2011. These birds are omnivorous –  though mainly feeding on grasshoppers, catepillars wasps and termites.

Crowned Hornbill Tockus alboterminatus

Crowned Hornbill
Tockus alboterminatus
Pic: Kevin Cole

About East London Museum Science

Conservation Biologist East London Museum South Africa
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