Tuesday, April 11

Austen's brown hornbill

   ›      ›   Austen's brown hornbill - Anorrhinus austeni

The Austen's brown hornbill (Anorrhinus austeni) is a medium-sized hornbill, belonging to the family Bucerotidae.

The Austen's brown hornbill species are distributed in India, China, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. These hornbills are monotypic species. The name 'Austen's brown hornbill' commemorates Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Haversham Godwin-Austen, an English topographer, geologist, naturalist and surveyor.

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

Appearance, physical description and identification

The Austen's brown hornbill (Anorrhinus austeni) is a medium-sized hornbill, measuring 60 to 65 cm in length.

The overall plumage is brownish. The male has white cheeks and throat. The bill is pale yellow in color. The underparts are rufous-brownish. The tail is tipped white. The feet are gray. The irises are blackish. Their call is a loud, plaintive screaming sound.
Indian birds - Picture of Austen's brown hornbill - Anorrhinus austeni
Birds of India - Image of Austen's brown hornbill - Anorrhinus austeni by lonelyshrimp

Birds of India - Photo of Austen's brown hornbill - Anorrhinus austeni
Indian birds - Picture of Austen's brown hornbill - Anorrhinus austeni by Rohit Naniwadekar

Indian birds - Image of Austen's brown hornbill - Anorrhinus austeni
Birds of India - Photo of Austen's brown hornbill - Anorrhinus austeni by Pkspks

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The Austen's brown hornbill species are distributed in northeast India, south China (Yunnan), east and north Myanmar, north Thailand, west Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. In India, these species are distributed in Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.

The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) of these species in Laos are Upper Xe Kaman, Phou Dendin, Dong Ampham, Nam Xam, Eastern Bolikhamxay Mountains, Nakai-Nam Theun, Nakai Plateau and Hin Namno. The IBA of these species in Cambodia is Kirirom and in Vietnam is Kon Cha Rang.

Ecosystem and habitat

These Austen's brown hornbill species have high forest dependency. These species occur in altitudes from 0 to 1800 meters.

The natural ecosystems of these hornbill species includes tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests, evergreen forests, deciduous forests, lowland plains, tropical and subtropical montane forests and pine and oak montane forests.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these Austen's brown hornbill species is mostly fruits. Wild fruits, berries, figs, large insects, lizards, bats, snakes, snails, earthworms and eggs and chicks of birds are their primary food. The swallowed food is regurgitated and brought to the tip of the bill and passed on to the female and chicks.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of the Austen's brown hornbill is during March to June in India. The laying season is during February and March in Thailand.

These species live in groups and only the dominant pair breeds while the other members of the group act as helpers. They nest in natural tree cavities and abandoned woodpecker holes.

Research studies have indicated that the assistance by helpers-hornbills steadily increased the food-delivery rates during the breeding cycle.

The assistance from helpers, eventually increased the success of breeding and reduced the time required for the chicks to fledge.

Migration and movement patterns

The Austen's brown hornbill species are non-migratory resident birds. The groups living in higher altitudes may move to lower levels during winter.

Post breeding, juvenile hornbills may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding within their range.

Austen's brown hornbill - Overview

  • Scientific name: Anorrhinus austeni
  • Species author: Jerdon, 1872
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Anorhinus austeni Jerdon, 1872,
  • Family: Bucerotidae › Bucerotiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Austen's brown hornbill, Chinese: 白喉犀鸟, French: Calao d’Austen, German: Weißgesicht-Hornvogel, Spanish: Cálao pardo de Austen, Russian: Коричневая птица-носорог, Japanese: アッサムサイチョウ, Vietnamese: Chim Niệc nâu
  • Other names: Godwin Austen’s Brown Hornbill
  • Distribution: China, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam
  • Diet and feeding habits: fruits, berries, figs, large insects, lizards, bats, snakes, snails, earthworms
  • IUCN status listing: Near Threatened (NT)
The Austen's brown hornbill (Anorrhinus austeni) is closely related to Tickell's brown hornbill (Anorrhinus tickelli) and Bushy-crested hornbill (Anorrhinus galeritus).

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the Austen's brown hornbill (Anorrhinus austeni) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of these species is considered to be decreasing.

Throughout its range it is reported to be locally common to rare. The generation length is 11.1 years. Their distribution size is about 1,650,000 sq.km.

The Austen's brown hornbill (Anorrhinus austeni) is approaching the thresholds for being Vulnerable, under the range size criterion, under the population trend criterion and also under the population size criterion.

Agricultural expansion, logging activities, road building, habitat degradation and destruction, hunting pressure and trapping 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".

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Evaluated’ for the Austen's brown hornbill (Anorrhinus austeni) and is listed in Appendix II.
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Anorrhinus austeni
Species:A. austeni
Binomial name:Anorrhinus austeni
IUCN status listing:
Near Threatened
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1.Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lonelyshrimp/33402561731/in/pool-backyardbirds/ (cropped)
Image author: lonelyshrimp | License: CC0 1.0 (public domain) as on4/11/17
2.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:White_throated_Brown_Hornbill.jpg (cropped)
Image author: Rohit Naniwadekar | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
3.Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Austen%27s_Brown_Hornbill.jpg (cropped)
Image author: Pkspks | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
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