- Malabar Gray Hornbill
 - Malabar Gray Hornbill
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 - Malabar Gray Hornbill
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 - Malabar Gray Hornbill
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Malabar Gray Hornbill Ocyceros griseus

  • LC Least Concern
  • Names (10)
  • Monotypic
Divya Mudappa and T. R. Shankar Raman
Version: 2.0 — Published July 9, 2020

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The Malabar Gray Hornbill, the smallest Oriental hornbill species, is confined to wet forests of the Western Ghats mountains in India. The species occurs from near sea level to 1,600 m, being more common in the middle elevations (600 m to 1,200 m). Plumaged in shades of gray and lacking a prominent casque, the species is not as glamorous as the two larger hornbills, the Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) and the Malabar Pied-Hornbill (Anthracoceros coronatus), which also occur alongside in parts of the Western Ghats. The Malabar Gray Hornbill is closely related to the Indian Gray Hornbill (Ocyceros birostris) that occurs in drier forests in the Indian peninsula and overlaps with the former in some locations. The loud nasal calls and cackling laughter of the Malabar Gray Hornbill often sounds from the forests where they occur as the birds are still relatively common within their restricted range. In these forests, the birds play an important role as consumers of wild fruits and dispersers of seeds, thus aiding in forest regeneration. While forest habitat and large trees for nesting are important, the species is adaptable and occurs even in home gardens and agroforestry plantations, particularly where they adjoin forests. Unfortunately, the species is undergoing both range-wide and local population declines, possibly due to the loss and degradation of their habitat, the loss of large trees that they need for nesting, poaching for meat, and the scarcity of fruiting trees in landscapes transformed by agriculture and plantations. Protection of nest trees and other large trees and the restoration of forests with a high diversity of native species, including species whose fruits are eaten by the hornbills, will aid in their future survival.

Distribution of the Malabar Gray Hornbill
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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Malabar Gray Hornbill

Recommended Citation

Mudappa, D. and T. R. S. Raman (2020). Malabar Gray Hornbill (Ocyceros griseus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.maghor2.02