1062. Lophoceros birostris,
The Common Grey Hornbill.
Buceros birostris, Scop. Del. Flor. et Faun. Insub. ii, p. 87 (1786) ; Blyth, J. A. S. B. xvi, p. 995; id. Cat. p. 44. Buceros ginginianus, Latham, Ind. Orn. i, p. 146 (1790) ; Blyth, J. A. S. B. xii, p. 996. Tockus bicornis, Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 597 (1856-8). Meniceros bicornis, Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 248; Blyth, Ibis, 1866, p. 350; King, J. A. S. B. xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 214; Horne, P. Z. S. 1869, p. 241; C. & G. Marshall, S. F. iii, p. 331; Butler, S. F. iii, p. 457 ; v, p. 218. Ocyceros ginginianus, Hume, N. & E. p. 113 ; Ball, S. F. ii, p. 388. Ocyceros bicornis, Fairbanh, S. F. v, p. 394. Lophoeeros birostris, Elliot, Mon. Buc. pl. 48. Ocyceros birostris, Davids. & Wend. S. F. vii, p. 78; Ball, ibid. p. 205; Hume, Cat. no. 144 ; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 384 ; Reid, S. F. x, p. 22; Davids. ibid. p. 296; Barnes, Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. i, p. 61; id. Birds Bom. p. 106; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 74; Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. M. xvii, p. 394.
Chakotra, Bhanmar, Bhand, Dhanel, Lamdar, H.; Selagilli, H. at Saugor; Puttial dhanes, Beng.; Rundu-mukala-guwa, Tel.; Munu-mukala-kaka, Irawache, Tam.
Coloration. Upper parts bight brownish grey, broad supercilia whitish; ear-coverts and cheeks blackish grey; primary and secondary quills blackish brown, all except the first two primaries tipped with white, the secondaries fringed with grey outside, the middle primaries with part of the outer web white, halfway down at first, but gradually nearer the tip on the inner feathers ; tail above browner than back, each feather with a broad subterminal black or blackish-brown band glossed with green and a white tip; below from the chin to the breast grey, then passing into the white of the abdomen. The white tips of the primaries are wanting in immature birds.
Bill and casque blackish, the tips and outer edges of both mandibles (not of the casque) white ; irides red-brown; feet dark plumbeous. In young birds most of the bill is white.
Length of male about 24 ; wing 8.7 ; tail 11.5 ; tarsus 1.9 ; bill from gape 4. Females are smaller, wing 7.9.
Distribution. From the base of the Himalayas throughout the better wooded parts of the Peninsula of India, except on the Malabar coast; wanting in Sind, Western Rajputana (except at Mount Abu), and the Punjab ; rare in the Gangetic delta in Lower Bengal, and not found farther east. This species does not occur in Ceylon.
Habits, &c. This little Hornbill is generally seen in small parties about open jungle, groves of trees, and gardens, but not in thick forest. It lives chiefly on fruit, but occasionally eats insects also. It has a harsh cry, and an undulating flight, with alternate flappings and sailings. An excellent account of the nidification at Mainpuri is given by Mr. Horne, who watched the female bird shut up, with her own droppings, the opening of the nest-hole in a sissoo tree, except the slit through which she received food from the male. The female never leaves the nest from before laying her first egg till the young are about a week old. The eggs, 3 to 5 in number, are laid from April to June; they are dull white in colour and measure about 1.7 by 1.22.