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The BAOBAB is ready for the breeding season

Our colleagues Kyle and Carrie at the APNR FitzPatrick Project installing another batch of nests. So do hope that they all get taken up this season and produce a new generation of ground-hornbills. The nests were certainly made with LOVE.

The nest facades are the final key to the Baobab’s production line. The second-hatched chicks harvested from wild nests are reared within the nest cavities and then they fledge into their foster families in their respective aviaries.

Our colleagues Kyle and Carrie at the APNR FitzPatrick Project installing another batch of nests. So do hope that they all get taken up this season and produce a new generation of ground-hornbills. The nests were certainly made with LOVE.

If you missed our exhibition booth at the Virtual African Bird Fair not to worry – you can click below and still visit.



Dee and Barrie Guy, together with artist and gallery owner George Groves are the masterminds behind THE GREAT GROUND-HORNBILL ART SHOW, showcasing some of the amazing artwork that has been created by artists from across the world.⠀

Dee and Barrie Guy

An overview of the auction:

On the 21st of October 2020, at 09:00, we will be launching a fantastic online auction, the ‘Great Ground Hornbill Art Show’ will go live on our host site by artist George Groves –

All pieces will be displayed on the auction site, where the size of the artwork, along with the medium, information on the artist, and the reserve ‘where applicable’ will all be shown. This has been very exciting as all the artists volunteered to produce a piece in a diverse range of mediums including, pencil, watercolour, glass, African fabric and a skateboard deck.

We will be closing bidding on the 21st of November at lunchtime GMT, so the auction will run for exactly one month to allow as many people as possible see these amazing pieces and bid. Once the bidding has closed, the winning bidders will receive their artwork, along with a notification of how their winning bid will help the Alf Rewin Scholarship Fund and the Mabula Ground Hornbill Project.

We have already seen interest in a number of the pieces and hope this will help provide a much-needed boost to the project and scholarship fund during these difficult times.

How will people be able to bid online?

On the auction site there will be a bid button for each piece of artwork allowing visitors to view the piece they wish to bid on.

George Groves (host for the auction) will receive an email registering each bidder individually. The website will be updated immediately as and when bids increase.

Will international potential bidders be able to take part?

Yes. The website is fully functional so any country with non-restrictive internet purchase rules, can visit the site and place a bid. However, please note that there may be an additional charge for shipping to some countries, for which we can provide a quote.



A workshop, facilitated by Dr Hanneline Smit-Robinson, from BirdLife South Africa, was run to assess the national priorities for reintroductions of ground-hornbills. They are such a precious asset that we need to know how best to use them strategically to ensure the best possible gains for growing the national population. We are extremely grateful to the participants from all relevant provincial nature conservation departments, SANParks, NGOs and the Department of the Environment, Fisheries and Forestry. We have a clear direction and will soon start working on a second national core. It is exciting to see that such growth is possible, and we will rise to the challenge.

Another sad loss to the population: porcupine bird succumbed

Sadly the female that was injured by porcupine succumbed to a lung infection. It appears one of the quills pierced her lungs too and the infection just kept recurring.

…but some good news too, without these two quick-thinkers, we would have lost yet another ground-hornbill to lead toxicosis.

Jonathan Gumbo and Sam Banda saw a ground-hornbill in trouble and rescued him, kept him safe, called for help and fed him – all of South Africa salutes you!!!

The radiographs showed extreme gut stasis and a spent-lead ammunition fragment. The bird was captured in an area where some land-owners still use lead ammunition. Ground-hornbills cover so much ground in a day that it is hard to keep them safe across multiple land-use properties. This forms the basis of our education programme. For the lead toxicosis, in particular, we work with the national Lead Task Team to find solutions with a collective of stakeholders, all with a vested interest in making our landscapes safer for all wildlife.

And to end off another glorious photo by our resident project photographer, Heinrich Nel.