Did You Know The Lake Superior Zoo Has A Bird That Resembles Toucan Sam From Fruit Loops Fame?
Bam Bam is an 11 year old Eastern Yellow Horn Billed bird who calls the Nocturnal building at the Lake Superior Zoo home. Even though he is not nocturnal he is housed in that building with extra lights because he did not get along with some monkeys in one of the other exhibits. But, according to Haley from the Lake Superior Zoo he loves human visitors and will often come up to the window to say hello. When I first saw the picture of Bam Bam I immediately thought of was the bird from Fruit Loops cereal, even though they are not exactly the same type of bird they are equally colorful.
The Eastern yellow-billed hornbills can be found in Africa, and are known for their large curved yellow beak. The beak is serrated to break up their food which consists of fruit, insects, and even small animals. They are about 16” to 18” long and weigh up to 10 ounces.
There are approximately 60 different species of hornbills found throughout the world. They have been found to have a type of working relationship with the dwarf mongoose. They will eat the insects the mongoose stirs up from the ground and in return they will alert the mongoose of overhead predators. Scientists have even observed the hornbills waiting in trees near a mongoose den for them to emerge. The mongoose has also been observed waiting to forage until a hornbill appears.
Some other facts about this very colorful bird include it's heavy bill which is supported by very strong neck muscles and two fused neck vertebrae. It also uses the tip of its beak to pick up food, then tosses the food into its throat with a jerk of its head.
What is funny about how they eat is I know of some humans that do that with food or if you are out at a bar watch someone saddle up to a bar and watch them do shots, they will cock there heads back and down the alcohol just like this bird eats. Tune in Friday morning at 8:15am with Jeanne and Ian as they chat with Haley at Lake Superior Zoo and talk more about Bam Bam. Don't forget to get your tickets in advance for Boo at the Zoo.