Thursday, March 15, 2007

ENV: Billy the Hornbill

This is a story of Billy the Hornbill, found injured on a central Texas ranch on January 28th, 2007, rescued and rehabilitated by three wonderful ladies, Lynne Schaffer, Betty Pollard and Maggie Broyles, and now residing at my place. He’s a Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, native to east Africa, and got loose from somebody, somewhere. No zoos within the expected flight range of this bird are missing any (only two Texas zoos have any to begin with – Gladys Porter and Dallas; and area breeders also don’t report any missing birds). Hornbills are not especially strong fliers (in flight they are reminiscent of a Roadrunner), making it nigh impossible one arrived here from Africa on its own. They spend much of their time hunting food on the ground and jumping from branch to branch in large trees. They are omnivores and eat a wide variety of insects, small mammals and fruit.



Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Bycanistes brevis
Filmed 14 March 2007, by Tony Gallucci, Milk River Film


Photo by Lynne Schaffer
with Billy




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