1565. Hydrocissa malabarica malabarica

(1565) Hydrocissa malabarica malabarica Gmelin.
Anthroacoceros malabaricus malabaricus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iv, p. 288.
Hydrocissa malabarica malabarica, ibid. vol. viii, p. 678.
This Hornbill ranges from the Siwalik Hilla and Dehra Dun in the West to Bihar and Assam in the East. It is found in Western Bengal in Chota Nagpore, Midnapore and Purulia. Birds from Southern Assam, Chin Hills and extreme Northern Burma are intermediate between the Indian and Burmese forms, hut have the large hill of the former, and may be retained under the same name.
There is nothing on record about the breeding of this race, but Whymper got several nests in the Kuman Terai ; Gill took a nest near Gonda in Oudh, Primrose found it breeding near Bishnath in Upper Assam and I took many eggs in Cachar.
It breeds in the plains and in the hills up to some 2,500 feet, selecting lofty trees standing in deciduous forest, mixed bamboo and scrub-jungle or in secondary growth. So far as I am aware it never nests in trees in evergreen forest though occasionally it makes use of dead trees standing in cultivated fields, deserted or used, which are surrounded by such forest.
The entrance selected is nearly always high up. generally over 40 feet, leading into a large natural hollow which may fall away some feet from the entrance. This is blocked up in much the same way as is that of the Great Horn bill, but is not so effectively closed, and I have seen room left sufficient for the hen to put her whole head out. Nor, as a rule at all events, is the female immured for so long a time, for I have frequently seen both sexes busy feeding the young, the clay entrance having been partly broken down.
Due, I presume, to easier duties, the male never gets to the bedraggled skin-and-bone condition that Dichoceros often presents after the breeding season is over.
In Kuman Whymper found all his nests in April, Gill also taking his in Gond on the 22nd of that month. Primrose found a single fresh egg on the 5th May, and I found hard-set eggs on the 25th. Even in Assam, however, most birds lay in April and a few as early as March.
The birds lay two or three eggs. Whymper found most clutches to be three, but in Assam threes are exceptional.
The eggs are small replicas of those of the Great Hornbill, but the surfaces are much less coarse and pimply.
Eighteen eggs average 49.0 x 34.9 mm. : maxima 54.0 x 38.0 mm. ; minima 47.0 x 35.0 and 49.0 x 33.2 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1565. Hydrocissa malabarica malabarica
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Indian Large Pied Hornbill
Anthracoceros albirostris albirostris
Vol. 3

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