Behaviour of Indian Grey Hornbill
Indian Grey Hornbill is mostly arboreal and is commonly sighted in pairs. It has grey feathers all over the body with a light grey or dull white belly. The horn of Indian grey hornbill is black or dark grey with a casque extending to the point of curvature of the horn. It is one of the few hornbill species found in urban areas in many cities where they are able to make use of large trees in avenues.
Structure of Indian Grey Hornbill
Indian Grey Hornbill is a medium-sized hornbill, measuring around 61 cm in length. The upperparts are greyish brown and there is a slight trace of a pale supercilium. The ear coverts are darker. The flight feathers of the wing are dark brown with a whitish tip. The tail has a white tip and a dark sub-terminal band. They have a red iris and the eyelids have eyelashes. The casque is short and pointed.
Adult Indian Grey Hornbill
The male Indian Grey Hornbill has a larger casque on a dark bill, and the culmen and lower mandible are yellowish. The bare skin around the eye is dark in the male, but sometimes pale reddish in females. The female has a more yellowish bill with black on the basal half and on the casque. The juveniles lack the casque, and the bare skin around the eye is dull orange
Concentration of Indian Grey Hornbill
Indian Grey Hornbill is found mainly on the plains up to about 2000 feet. It is found from the foothills of the Himalayas southwards, bounded to the west by the Indus river system and to the east by the deltaic region of Ganga River. Indian Grey Hornbill may make local movements in the drier western region. It is found even in cities that have old avenue trees. It is found mainly on the plains up to about 1400 metres and does not overlap much with the Malabar grey hornbill of the Western Ghats Mountain Range in India.
Call of Indian Grey Hornbill
The call of Indian Grey Hornbill is a squealing call somewhat like that of a black kite. The flight is heavy and involves flapping interspersed with glides. They are found in pairs or small groups.
Nesting of Indian Grey Hornbill
The nesting season of Indian Grey Hornbill is from April to June and the clutch varies from one to five very symmetrical white eggs. Indian Grey Hornbills usually nest in tree hollows on tall trees. An existing hollow may be excavated further to suit. The female enters the nest hollow and seals the nest hole, leaving only a small vertical slit through which the male feeds her. The nest entrance is sealed by the female using its excreta and mud-pellets supplied by the male. While inside the nest, the female moults her flight feathers and incubates the eggs. The regrowth of the female's feathers coincides with the maturity of the chicks, at which point the nest is broken open.
Feeding of Indian Grey Hornbill
Indian Grey Hornbills are almost completely arboreal, but very rarely descend to the ground to pick up fallen fruits, to dust bathe, or to pick up mud pellets to seal the nest cavity during the nesting period. They indulge in various social activities, including bill-grappling and aerial jousting.