1051. Dichoceros bicornis.
The Great Hornbill.
Buceros bicornis, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 153 (1766); Elliot, Ibis, 1877, p. 416. Buceros cavatus, Shaw, Gen. Zool. viii, pt. 1, p. 18 (1812); Jerdon, Madr. Jour. L. S. xi, p. 37 ; Blyth, J. A. S. B. xii, p. 986 ; xvi, p. 993; id. Cat. p. 42; Tickell, J. A. S. B. xxiv, p. 279; Baker, J. A. S. B. xx viii, p. 292. Buceros homrai, Hodgs. J. A. S. B. i, p. 251 (1832) ; id. As. Res. xviii, pt. 2, p. 169, pl. Dichoceros cavatus, Gloger, Hand- u. Hilfsb. p. 335 ; Fairbank, S. F. iv, p. 254; Hume & Bourdillon, ibid. p. 384; Hume & Inglis, S. F. v, p. 20 ; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 98; Oates, S. F. vii, p. 45; Hume, Cat. no. 140; id. S. F. xi, p. 51; Bingham, S. F. viii, p. 461; ix, p. 158 ; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 50; Butler, ibid. p. 383 ;
Davison, S. F. x, p. 352 ; Macgregor, ibid. p. 436; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 104; Davidson, Jour. Bomb. N. H. Soc. vi, p. 333. Homraius bicornis, Bonap. Consp. Vol. Anisod. p. 2 ; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 583; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 242 ; id. Ibis, 1872, p. 4 ; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. 2, p. 164. Buceros (Homraius) cavatus, Tickell, Ibis, 1864, p. 176. Dichoceros bicornis, Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 68; Wardl.-Rams. Ibis, 1877, p. 454; Elliot, Mon. Buc. pl. vi; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 87; id. Ibis, 1888, p. 72 ; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 68; Salvadori, Ann. Mus. Civ. Gen. (2) v, p. 571 ; vii, p. 381; Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. M. xvii, p. 355.
Homrai,H. Nepal; Banrao,H.. Mussooree; Kugrong, Lepcha,; Garuda, Can.; Garud, Mahr.; Malle Moraki, Mal.; Hivang, Assamese ; Ouk-chin-gyee, Burm.
Coloration. Head all round as far back as ends of ear-coverts black; neck all round fulvescent white; back, rump, scapulars, median and lesser wing-coverts, breast and under wing-coverts black ; greater coverts and quills black, with the bases and ends white ; lower abdomen, upper and under tail-coverts white ; tail yellowish white, with a broad subterminal black band on each feather.
Bill and casque yellow, tinged with red at the tip and with orange in the middle. In the male the culmen in front of the casque, a triangular patch at each side of the anterior end of the casque, and the posterior portion of the casque are black, but not in the female, in which, however, the posterior portion of the casque is red. In both sexes the base of the mandible is black. Irides in male blood-red, in female pearly white; eyelids black; orbital skin dark fleshy pink; legs and feet greenish plumbeous.
Length about 52 inches ; tail 15 ; wing 20; tarsus 2.9 ; bill from gape to point in a straight line 10.5. Females rather less, wing 18; bill from gape 9. Tenasserim birds are decidedly smaller than Himalayan.
Distribution. Along the Sahyadri or Western Ghats from the neighbourhood of Bombay to Cape Comorin; this bird is unknown elsewhere in the Indian Peninsula, and is wanting in Ceylon, but is found throughout the Himalayas as far west as Kumaun, up to about 5000 feet; and is generally distributed in Assam, Cachar, Tipperah, and other countries between Assam and Burma, throughout Burma, the Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra.
Habits, &c. Like the other large Indian and Burmese Hornbills this is a forest bird, and generally keeps to high trees; it appears never to descend to the ground. "Wherever it is found, it makes its presence known by the great noise produced by its wings in flying, a sound that may be often heard a mile away. Its flight is an alternation of a series of flappings of the wings and of sailing along with the wings motionless, but the flapping predominates and the flight is less undulating than in many Hornbills. Sometimes this bird is found in pairs, more often in flocks of from five to twenty or more. The food consists mainly of fruit, but insects and lizards are also eaten, as Tickell has shown ; the fruit or other food, as with many other Hornbills, is tossed in the air and allowed to fall into the bird's throat. The nidification was observed first by Tickell, subsequently by Mr. P. Thompson, Major Bingham, and others, and is typical. The eggs, usually two or three in number, are laid about April in the Himalayas, but in February in Tenasserim, Kanara, and Travancore, and measure about 2.62 by 1.88.