A photo of a Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis), male
Great Hornbill, Male

Great Hornbill

Buceros bicornis

The great hornbill (Buceros bicornis), also known as the concave-casqued hornbill, great Indian hornbill or great pied hornbill, is one of the larger members of the hornbill family. It occurs in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It is predominantly frugivorous, but also preys on small mammals, reptiles and birds. It has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 2018. It is known to have lived for nearly 50 years in captivity. Due to its large size and colour, it is important in many tribal cultures and rituals. The Government of Kerala declared it as the official Kerala state bird. The great hornbill is a large bird, 95–130 cm long, with a 152 cm wingspan and a weight of 2 to 4 kg. The average weight of males is 3 kg whereas that of females is 2.59 kg. It is the heaviest, but not the longest, Asian hornbill. Females are smaller than males and have bluish-white instead of red eyes, although the orbital skin is pinkish. Like other hornbills, they have prominent "eyelashes". The most prominent feature of the hornbill is the bright yellow and black casque on top of its massive bill. The casque appears U-shaped when viewed from the front, and the top is concave, with two ridges along the sides that form points in the front, whence the Latin species epithet bicornis (two-horned). The back of the casque is reddish in females, while the underside of the front and back of the casque is black in males The casque is hollow and serves no known purpose, although it is thought to be the result of sexual selection. Male hornbills indulge in aerial casque butting, with birds striking each other in flight. The male spreads the preen gland secretion, which is yellow, onto the primary feathers and bill to give them the bright yellow colour. The commissure of the beak is black and has a serrated edge which becomes worn with age. The wing beats are heavy, and the sound produced by birds in flight can be heard from a distance. This sound has been likened to the puffing of a steam locomotive starting up. The flight involves stiff flaps followed by glides with the fingers splayed and upcurled.
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Great Hornbills on Birda



A map showing the sighting location
Николай Марченко
Sunday 09 Apr 2023 - 6:30am
A photo of a Great Hornbill photographed in  India
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Amit Purandare
Sunday 26 Mar 2023 - 5:02am
A photo of a Great Hornbill photographed in CCC Cambodia
Nicholas Opalewski
Sunday 12 Feb 2023 - 1:02am
A photo of a Great Hornbill photographed in Panorama Mekong Cambodia
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Georgi Millwood
Tuesday 17 Jan 2023 - 5:50am
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