ANIMAL: Great Indian Hornbill Buceros bicornis Type of Animal: Hornbill Habitat: Tropical forest Location(s): Nepal, much of W. Ghats & N.E. India, Indochina, parts of Malaysia, Sumatra Appearance: Largest Asian hornbill species w/ males larger than females. Males have more pronounced yellow casque than females. Both sexes black w/ some yellowish-whitish feathers. Back of casque reddish in females, black in males. Males have red iris w/ black skin surrounding, females white iris w/ pink/red skin surrounding. Food/Diet: Fruit, lizards, small snakes, turtle/tortoise hatchlings, rodents, songbirds, poultry, small pigeons, insects, owlets, owl chicks, crocodilian hatchlings, berries, newborn pythons, snails, eggs Status in Wild: Threatened Conservation: Breeding from zoos & private breeders Lifestyle: Monogamous pairs, though flocks of 12-15 can be found outside of breeding/nesting season Additional Info: Called: Male-Cock Female-Hen Young-Chick Group-Flock Weight: Male-6.6 lbs Female-5.7 lbs Young-1.3 lbs Gestation: 1.5-2 months Height: Male-3.4 ft Female-3 ft Body Length: Male-3.4 ft Female-3 ft Life Span: 30 years in wild, up to 50 years in captivity Tail Length: 3 ft Main predators of adults are large pythons, tigers, leopards, clouded leopards, black bears, dholes, & large raptors. Civets, sun bears, sloth bears, primates, smaller felids, snakes, & smaller raptors eat chicks. Calls & wing beats can be heard more than half a mile away. Threatened due to logging, habitat loss, pet trade, & hunting for feathers/meat. Due to frugivorous diet, they’re very important seed dispersers. Casque takes 4-5 years to develop. While casque looks heavy, it is actually light and hollow. They love to bask in the sun. Fights highly ritualized involving jousting of casques. Fun Fact(s): In some cultures, they represent war gods. Tribesmen in much of range often wear hornbill feathers as headdresses & heads as decorations. Flesh believed to be medicinal. These birds can be docile but do become more aggressive during breeding/nesting season, especially males. Like all arboreal hornbills, female nests in tree cavity w/ wall made of mud, fruit pulp & poop. Hole big enough for female to fit into & once she’s in she walls herself up for 3 months, leaving narrow opening for male to feed her/brood. Male defends territory. While walled up, female undergoes complete molt. When chicks & mom too big, mom breaks out w/ both parents feeding chicks.