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Malabar Grey Hornbill

This small, plain brownish-grey hornbill is found only in the tall wet forests of the Western Ghats. Its head and underparts have whitish streaks. It lacks the casque typical of Hornbills. Its beak is quite long, slightly curved and yellow. Its wings have white tips. The male has a long curved yellow-orange bill, paler at tip, low casque. Female is smaller, with smaller dark-spotted casque and black base of mandible. The tail is black, tipped with white at the bottom. 

This hornbill is endemic to India, and found in the Western Ghats of south-west India. Found in evergreen and deciduous forests, riverine also above 500 m and lowlands. More in forests with dense tree cover than Indian grey and higher.

This 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.

These birds are seen in flocks of 6 to 20 birds, usually at fig trees. They also eat insects, lizards and other small animals. Food is mainly fruits, important food species in the breeding season are Actinodaphne (Lauraceae) and Olea (Oleaceae). Sometimes they eats flowers, and takes animal prey like insects and small reptiles. 

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