Malabar Pied Hornbill

Malabar Pied Hornbill   Anthracoceros coronatus


  • Anthracoceros : Greek word anthrax  –coal black ; keros  –
  • Coronatus: Latin word for crowned derived from coronare to crown

Vernacular names:  Hindi: Dhan chiri, Suleimani murghi, Malabari ablaki Dhanesh, U.P: Dhanesh, Ben: Bagma dhanesh, Gond: Peshta gonda, Mar: Wayera, Kanari, Malabar Ablakh/ Kavdya Dhanesh, Ori: Kuchla kha, Ta: Irattai chondu kuruvi, Te: Batta chupanati, Mal: Vezhambal, Kan: Kodu kokku, Sinh: Poruwa kandetta

Distribution in India: Resident of Western Ghats and East India.

Description: Size of 65 cm. It is a medium-sized, pied hornbill with all-white belly, trailing edge to wings and outer tail feathers. The male has bill that is pale yellow with black cutting edges and base; huge casque with flattened and projecting front edge, yellow and black; bare skin around eye is dark blue; throat skin is pinkish; eyes are red. The female is smaller than male, casque is with less black, circumorbital skin is white with pink tinge. The juvenile is with smaller bill plain dull yellow, facial skin is duller version of adult’s.

Habitat: It is found in evergreen forest, tall deciduous woodland, and more open patches of forest and plantations, especially in hilly country; sometimes visits isolated fruiting trees outside forest.

Eating Habits: It eats fruits, leaves, and small animals like Insects and lizards. It feeds mainly among foliage, but descends to ground after fallen fruit, or to chase insects. It forages in small flocks, but often many (gather at localized food sources and roost communally.

Breeding Habits: They breed in Mar–Sept, mainly during rainy season. The nest is in a natural cavity up in a tree. The nest is sealed by female with little help from male. They lay a clutch of 2–4 eggs. The incubation period is 29–30 days. The female moults remiges and rectrices once enclosed. It will emerge from nest when oldest chicks anything from 10 days to 35 days old emerges. The fledging period is 49 days.