Concentration of Malabar Grey Hornbill
Malabar Grey Hornbill is a hornbill endemic to the Western Ghats Mountain Range in India and associated hills of southern part of India.
Structure of Malabar Grey Hornbill
Malabar Grey Hornbill has a large beak but lack the casqued that is prominent in some other hornbill species.
Habitats of Malabar Grey Hornbill
Malabar Grey Hornbills are found mainly in dense forest and around rubber, areca nut or coffee plantations. They move around in small groups, feeding on figs and other forest fruits.
Call of Malabar Grey Hornbill
The loud cackling and laughing call of Malabar Grey Hornbill makes them familiar to people living in the region.
Size of Malabar Grey Hornbill
Malabar Grey Hornbill is a large bird, but mid-sized for a hornbill, at 45 to 58 cm (18 to 23 in) in length. It has a 23 cm (9.1 in) tail and pale or yellowish to orange bill. Males have a reddish bill with a yellow tip, while the females have a plain yellow bill with black at the base of the lower mandible and a black stripe along the culmen. They show a broad whitish superciliary band above the eye, running down to the neck. They fly with a strong flap and glide flight and hop around heavily on the outer branches of large fruiting trees. They have brown-grey wings, a white carpal patch and black primary flight feathers tipped with white. Indian Grey Hornbill, which is found mainly on the adjoining plains, is easily made apart by its prominent casque, and in flight by the white trailing edge of the entire wing. Malabar Grey Hornbill has a grey back and a cinnamon vent. The long tail is blackish with a white tip, and the under parts are grey with white streaks. The long curved bill has no casque. Immature birds have browner upperparts and a yellow bill. Young birds have a dull white or yellow iris.
Residence of Malabar Grey Hornbill
Malabar Grey Hornbill is a common resident breeder in the Western Ghats Mountain Range in India and associated hills of southern India. They are found mainly in dense forest habitats; the thinner dry forest habitat of the plains is typically occupied by the Indian grey hornbill. Sri Lankan grey hornbill was included with this species in the past, but is now considered distinct. Malabar grey hornbill is found in small groups mainly in habitats with good tree cover. 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.
Breeding Season of Malabar Grey Hornbill
The breeding season of Malabar Grey Hornbill is January to May. Being secondary cavity nesters (incapable of excavating their own nests), they find trees with large cavities. Trees of the species Lagerstroemia microcarpa, Terminalia bellirica and Terminalia crenulata were found to hold nearly 70% of all the nests in the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary area.