Jackson’s Hornbill

Tockus jacksoni

Red List Status: LC – Least Concern (IUCN 2018)

Distribution: East Africa; straddled across the border region of three countries: Southern part of South Sudan, north-east Uganda, southern Ethiopia and north-west Kenya. 

Description: 35 cm. Body mass and other data generally confused with those of similarsized Von der Decken’s Hornbill. Small slender hornbill with pied white-spotted plumage. Where they overlap in the east of Lake Turkana area, this species can be distinguished from Von der Decken’s Hornbill by thick white spots on wings of both sexes; male has broad reddish bill but less yellow in tip than that of its relative and low casque ridge. Female is smaller, with shorter all-black bill and casque. 

Voice: The call is a monotonous series of clucking notes, wukwuk-wuk, higher pitched and somewhat slower than those of Von der Decken’s Hornbill, but head-down wing-fanning display similar to its closest relatives. 

Audio from xeno-canto

Habits: Occurs in open savanna with bushes and thorny trees. It perches low and drops down onto the ground to feed on small animals. No detailed studies of habits and ecology are available, but they must be presumed to be similar to the widely distributed and better-studied allospecies Von der Decken’s Hornbill. It is territorial and sedentary within its home range.