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Malabar Grey Hornbill -

 

The Malabar Grey Hornbill, Ocyceros griseus, is a hornbill that is endemic to the Western Ghats and associated hills of southern India. They have a large beak but lack the casque that is prominent in other species of hornbills. They are found mainly in dense forest and around rubber, arecanut or coffee plantations.They move around in small groups, feeding on figs and other forest fruits. Their loud cackling and laughing call makes them familiar to people living in the region.

The Malabar Grey Hornbill is a common resident breeder in the Western Ghats and associated hills of southern India. They are mainly found in dense forest habitats and the thinner dry forest habitat of the plains is typically occupied by the Indian Grey Hornbill. This hornbill is found in small groups mainly in habitats with good tree cover and being large frugivores, they are important as seed dispersal agents for many species of fruit bearing forest trees. They also feed on small vertebrates and in captivity they will readily take meat.

 

The breeding season is January to May. Being secondary cavity nesters (incapable of excavating their own nests), the find trees with large cavities. A study in the Anaimalai Hills showed that the species preferred nest sites that had large trees. The nest holes were usually found in large trees with hollows caused by heart-rot where a branch had broken off. Trees of the species Lagerstroemia microcarpa, Terminalia bellirica and Terminalia crenulata were found to hold nearly 70% of all the nests in the Mudumalai area. The species is monogamous and the same nest sites are used by the pair year after year. The female incarcerates herself within the cavity by sealing its entrance with a cement made from her droppings. The female then lays three or sometimes four white eggs and begins a complete moult of her flight feathers. The entrance to the nest retains a narrow aperture through which the female voids excreta and receives food from the male. The male bring all the food needed for the female and the young. Berries, insects, small rodents and reptiles are included in the diet.

 

 

Story Behind -

I was at Dens Forest of Western ghats at Ganeshgudi when heard a loud call. It was Malabar Grey Hornbill eating fruit berries on the tree.

They pluck the Berry and then toss it on the air to eat it and this due to their curved beak. Malabar Grey Hornbills are Western Ghats Endemic. Aprat from Malabar Grey Hornbill, there are two more species which are found in western ghats those are Pied Hornbill and Great Hornbill.