UGANDA BIRD GUIDES
This Uganda Bird is similar to the African pied hornbill but is significantly larger, has a heavier bill and is more white in flight pattern.
The Piping Hornbill is omnivorous and feeds on birds, fruits, insects and small animals; interesting however, this African bird cannot swallow food caught at the tip of his beak because his tongue is too short to manipulate such food, he therfore has to toss the food back to the throat by jerking his head.
In this section of the Uganda Birding Safari Guide we share with you information about Piping Hornbills in Uganda in order to make your Bird watching tour to Africa even more rewarding.
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You will commonly find Piping Hornbill in pairs and small groups residing in woodland and forests of Africa.
The birds are very active in the canopy and around fruiting trees.
You will see hornbill about 61cm. The adult male is glossed black above with a black throat and breast, and a gleaming white belly. His bill is creamy white with a dusky patch in the center.
The female bird is slightly smaller with a paler bill and a greenish not black eye-ring.
The piping hornbill has a heavy beak which is its most distinctive feature. This bill is supported by the powerful neck muscle as well as the fused vertebrae.
The large bill assists the bird in fighting, constructing her nest and for catching her prey.
Another unique feature you will see on this Uganda bird is the casque, a hollow structure that runs along the upper mandible.
The immature birds are duller with a darker bill and no casque.
In flight, you will see a Piping hornbill revealing white secondaries, small white primary tips,and a black tail with mainly white sides.
The piping hornbill possesses binocular vision. This allows it to see its own bill top and also aids in precision handling of food objects with their bill.
The eyes are also protected by large eye lashes which also double as sun shades.
The call of a Piping Hornbill is characterised with trumpeted nasal notes.
You will hear nasal notes which are first given slowly and then accelerated into a laugh ah-ah-ah-ah-hahahahahaha-ah-ah....