Great Indian Hornbill Birds



Despite its preference for figs however, the big, omnivorous Indian Hornbill is a skilled hunter who uses its massive bill to crush prey.


Most of them are found in India as the name suggests, the huge Indian Hornbill is found mostly in moist and evergreen forests, mostly in the plains of lowland and can also be seen along the Himalayan foothills as well as in northern Thailand that can reach heights of 6,500′.

 Hornbills are rare throughout the Yunnan province of China however, it is quite common across South Vietnam. A small population of Indian hornbills lives in the West Ghats along the peninsula which extends between Kolaba to Tenmalai and also the region that lies at the base of the Himalayas from Utta

Pradesh to Assam. The huge Indian Hornbill frequently uses communal roosts in forest, perched on the highest branches, with three to four birds per tree.


The magnificent Indian hornbill, also referred to by the name of great pied hornbill is listed on Appendix II of CITES and classified as endangered due to declining populations. The decline could be due to the clearing of forests that eliminate the nesting areas of birds and areas for foraging.

 Additionally, hornbills have been hunted for several times throughout India and Indonesia as food, and as a component in rituals and local medicine. The time for nesting is the time of harvesting honey and nesting cavities are found with bees’ honey within the vast trees.

Kadar tribesmen believe that the blood of the hornbill chicks comforts the soul of the dead.The largest-known Indian Hornbill casque was 7.5 inches in length, 4.1” wide and 2.1 1” in height.


In the season of breeding Monogamous hornbills make pairs and then return to their breeding areas singing loudly around fruiting trees. Males engage in aerial battles between casque and casque in order to defend their territory. The courtship rituals, which take place in specific breeding areas, known as leks, involve branch-banging as well as hanging upside-down. 

Also males feed the female with fruit for up to 5 months prior to mating. They can also re-inject fruits into the nest that is typically located within the hollow of the tree. The pair seals off the entryway by dumping droppings, chewed bits of wood, and other debris. the female is working from insideand the male is working from outside. More

 The female incubates three white

eggs for 38 to 40 days. After which the chicks and female dismantle the nest by repeatedly pecking in order to take meals from their male. The parents feed their hatchlings for up to 5 months through regurgitation.

The stomach of the parent may be filled by up to 50 grape-sized fruit. The young ones join their parents after escaping out of the nest.

Food and feed

Although the hornbill has a particular preference for figs, the bird also hunts for insects as well as snakes, lizards, and nestlings. When it comes to food the hornbill has a wide range of options by employing a variety of methods for feeding like picking up food items and digging through decaying wood,

or swooping from a perch, or picking an item from the foliage during flight. A group of 20 or more Hornbills frequently make journeys to hunt fruit.The bird is able to cover large areas of land daily hunting fruit trees frequently in bamboo forests. 

The large Indian hornbill is known for its bludgeoning of larger prey with branches in order to kill its victim and then softens the victim by using its bill to crush the deceased animal when it is too big to take in.


The majestic Indian Hornbill is a bird that socializes. It is seen in small family groups or even in large groups that can reach 40 in the monsoon season. The bird’s loud calls range from low, guttural sounds to the reverberating, loud sound that can be repeated frequently.

 Nestlings make croaking noises that are barely audible that alternate with whistling sounds and older chicks emit sharp churrrs, eventually building into guttural squeals once handled.The bird can also be heard grunting as it defends the nest from predators who enter the trees.

The majestic Indian Hornbill is a bird that flies using three or four rapid deep flaps followed by a slow flight through the air. This tree-loving bird moves between branches through moving sideways. The bird is in what seems to be an apparent “kneeling” position.


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