Alu Kadatta
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka

Local Name : The Ceylon Grey Hornbill
Scientific Name : Ocyceros gingalensis (Shaw)



Size about that of the Black Crow, but with much longer bill and tail. Sexes alike, except that the bill of the female is dull black with a long cream patch on the side of the side of the upper mandible.

It lives in pairs or small flocks except when some wild fig tree is in fruit, when large numbers will assemble to feed on the fruit. In spite of its size it is often very inconspicuous as it has a habit of sitting quietly among foliage, in a very upright position, turning its head stealthily in all directions while scanning the environment for food. Its favourite abode is the medium levels of tall forest, where hanging creepers and lianas supply convenient perches as well as concealment.

The breeding season is from April to August. The nest is cavity in the bole of a large tree, usually at height from the ground. The eggs number one to three, are white, soon getting dirty, and measure about 41.533 mm.

This hornbill is common in all low-country forested areas, both wet and dry zone, and it occasionally ascends the hills to 4,000 feet though it is decidedly rate at such elevations.


Source: "A field guide to the birds in Sri Lanka - Dr. Sarath Kotagama
"Birds in Sri Lanka" - G.M.Henry
Gunnar Pettersson

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