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Malabar pied hornbill

   ›      ›   Malabar pied hornbill - Anthracoceros coronatus

The Malabar pied hornbill (Anthracoceros coronatus) is a medium-sized, pied hornbill belonging to the family Bucerotidae.

These hornbill species are distributed in India and Sri Lanka. These Malabar pied hornbill species are monogamous breeders nesting in natural cavities in trees. These hornbills are monotypic species.

Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Malabar Pied Hornbill Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Malabar pied hornbill - Overview

  • Scientific name: Anthracoceros coronatus
  • Species author: (Boddaert, 1783)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Buceros Coronatus Boddaert, 1783
  • Family: Bucerotidae › Bucerotiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Malabar pied hornbill, Chinese: 印度冠斑犀鸟, French: Calao de Malabar, German: Malabarhornvogel, Spanish: Cálao coronado, Russian: Малабарская птица-носорог, Japanese: カササギサイチョウ, Malay: Enggang Tangling, Tamil: Karuppu Vellai Iruvaayan
  • Other names: Lesser pied hornbill, Indian Pied Hornbill
  • Distribution: India, Sri Lanka
  • Diet and feeding habits: fruits, berries, figs, small mammals, small birds, small reptiles, insects
  • IUCN status listing: Near Threatened (NT)
The Malabar pied hornbill (Anthracoceros coronatus) is closely related to oriental pied hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) and Palawan hornbill (Anthracoceros marchei).

Appearance, physical description and identification

The Malabar pied hornbill (Anthracoceros coronatus) is a large hornbill, measuring about 65 cm in length.

The overall plumage of these Malabar pied hornbill species is black. The belly region and the undertail are whitish. The outer feathers of the tail are also whitish. There is a white patch on the throat. The trailing edge of the wings is white.

The bill is large, curved, creamy yellow, with a large black and creamy white casque. The irises are black and the female has white orbital skin. The legs are covered with white feathers and the feet are bare and gray. Their call is a screaming “rrraah..rrraah" sound.
Indian birds - Photo of Malabar pied hornbill - Anthracoceros coronatus
Birds of India - Image of Malabar pied hornbill - Anthracoceros coronatus
Birds of India - Image of Malabar pied hornbill - Anthracoceros coronatus
Indian birds - Picture of Malabar pied hornbill - Anthracoceros coronatus
Indian birds - Picture of Malabar pied hornbill - Anthracoceros coronatus
Birds of India - Photo of Malabar pied hornbill - Anthracoceros coronatus by Thimindu Goonatillake

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The Malabar pied hornbill species are distributed in India and Sri Lanka. In India, these species are distributed in the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala (Malabar region), Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand.

Ecosystem and habitat

The Malabar pied hornbill species have high forest dependency. These species occur in altitudes from 0 to 100 meters. They inhabit various natural forest and lowland ecosystems. They also inhabit artificial terrestrial ecosystems.

The artificial ecosystems include plantations, orchards and rural gardens. The natural ecosystems of Malabar hornbill include subtropical and tropical dry forests and subtropical and tropical moist lowlands.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these Malabar pied hornbill species is mostly fruits. Berries, figs, wild fruits, orchard fruits, small mammals, small birds, small reptiles and insects are the primary food. They collect the food with the tip of the bill and toss it back to the throat.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these Malabar pied hornbill species is from March to September in India. These birds are monogamous in nature, usually pairing for life. They nest in tree cavities near the canopy. The same nesting site may be used in consecutive breeding seasons by the same pair.

The entrance to the hole is sealed off by the female hornbill with a wall made of mud, droppings and fruit pulp, leaving a small opening for it to squeeze into the cavity. After entering the cavity, the female seals the opening leaving a small slit for transferring food by the male.

The typical Malabar hornbill clutch contains two to three eggs. The male feeds the female and the chicks. When the nestlings grow large, the female comes out by breaking the wall and rebuilds the wall. Now both the parents collect food and feed the chicks.

Migration and movement patterns

The Malabar pied hornbill is a non-migrant sedentary bird.

Post breeding, the hornbill juveniles may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding within their range. They may resort to nomadic life when there is dearth of food.

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the Malabar pied hornbill (Anthracoceros coronatus) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of these species is considered to be decreasing. Throughout its range it is reported to be rare to common. The generation length is 9.7 years. Their distribution size is about 1,720,000 sq.km.

The Malabar pied hornbill (Anthracoceros coronatus) is approaching the thresholds for being Vulnerable under the range size criterion, under the population trend criterion and also under the population size criterion. Loss of habitat, use of nestlings in native medicine and trapping adults and juveniles for pet trade are the main threats that may endanger the survival of these hornbill species.

IUCN and CITES status

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the hornbill species and has listed it as "Near Threatened". CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Evaluated’ for the Malabar pied hornbill (Anthracoceros coronatus) and is listed in Appendix II.
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Anthracoceros coronatus
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Bucerotiformes
Family:Bucerotidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Anthracoceros
Species:A. coronatus
Binomial name:Anthracoceros coronatus
IUCN status listing:
Near Threatened
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1.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MpHornbill_DSC_7392.jpg
Image author: T. R. Shankar Raman | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
2.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Malabar_Pied_Hornbill_3.jpg
Image author: Rajan Hatiskar | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
3.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anthracoceros_coronatus_-Wilpattu_National_Park,_Sri_Lanka-8_(1)-3c.jpg
Image author: Thimindu Goonatillake | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 (as on 20/02/17)
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