Grey Hornbill in flight at Delhi
Grey Hornbill in flight at Delhi

They are mostly arboreal and come to the ground:-

(1) To pick up fallen fruits from their beak .


(2) To pick up mud pellets during the breeding season for sealing the cavity after the female has entered and settled into the cavity.


(3) For hunting of insects , birds or reptiles such as garden lizard or small snakes .

By no imagination you can call it a beautiful bird but has the most unique behaviour and characteristic which birders know. The male is the most devoted husband who feeds the female while she is inside the cavity for more than a period of 2 months(70 to 75 days) .

By now most of the females have entered into the cavity after mating ,for having the new generation and the males are feeding them from the small hole in the cavity.

This was shot on 27th March 2018 in Delhi.

The way I have been covering this bird for more than 5 years this specie appears to communicate with me . I am reminded of a very lovely song from the old Hindi film ANPADH (illiterate )….आपकी नजरों नें समझा प्यार के काबिल मुझे ,दिल की ऐ धड़कन ठहर जा, मिल गयी मंजिल मुझे.

About Vinod Goel

He joined Customs & Central Excise service in 1982. As a civil servant, his job takes him to various parts of India, which gave him an opportunity to capture our wild heritage, through his camera. His passion for wildlife photography started in 2004 when he was posted at Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and this passion continues till today.