The southern ground-hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri) is the largest hornbill in the world and features a striking red facial and throat skin that contrasts with its black plumage (4). This species is named for its habit of walking on the ground as it feeds(3), and it is less often seen in flight (4).
The bill of the southern ground-hornbill is long, thick and downward-curving, with a small casque on the top. The eyes of this species are pale yellow, and its legs are black and quite robust (3). When it does fly, the southern ground-hornbill reveals striking white primary feathers on its wings (3), (4).
The female southern ground-hornbill differs from the male in that there is a violet patch on the throat, rather than just pure red colouration (3)(4). Juveniles are duller and browner than the adults, with brown eyes and a smaller bill (3), and individuals under two years of age have yellowish facial skin (3)(4). As the bird ages, the facial skin becomes more mottled with red and blue spots, before finally becoming entirely red at about four years old (4).
The call of the southern ground hornbill is a very deep, reverberating booming sound that can carry over large distances