Buceros bicornis

Great Hornbill

VVOFT0037 Buceros bicornis<br>
code: VVOFT0037

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The Great Hornbill, Buceros bicornis also known as Greater Indian Hornbill, is the largest member of the hornbill family. Great Hornbill is distributed in the forests of India, the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra, Indonesia. Their impressive size and colour have helped make them a part of local tribal cultures and rituals. The Great Hornbill is a large bird, nearly four feet tall with a 60-inch wingspan, tail feathers reaching 36 inches and a weight of approximately six pounds. The most prominent feature of the hornbill is the bright yellow and black casque on top of its massive bill. The casque is hollow and serves no known purpose (“tame” hornbills are known to enjoy having them scratched) although they are believed to be the result of sexual selection. Male hornbills have been known to indulge in aerial casque butting flights.Females are smaller than males and have blue instead of red eyes. The male spreads the preen gland secretion which is yellow onto the primaries to give them the bright yellow colour. Female hornbills build nests in hollows of large tree trunks and the opening is sealed with feces, wood bark, and dirt. She remains imprisoned in her nest until the chicks are semi-developed relying on the male to bring her food. During this period the female undergoes a complete moult. She is fed by her mate through a slit in the seal. The clutch consists of one or two eggs she incubates for 38-40 days. In the wild, the Great Hornbill's diet consists mainly of fruit. It will also eat small mammals, birds, lizards, snakes and insects. The Great Hornbills form monogamous pair bonds and live out their lives in groups of 2-40 individuals. Group courtship displays involving up to 20 birds have been observed.Source:Wikipedia

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