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Great Pied Hornbill or Buceros bicornis

Kerala is an ornithologist’s delight with its 500 variety of birds of which 16 are endemic to this region. Most of these birds can be found in the Western Ghats region.

The Great Pied Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) is one such bird. It is the largest of the nine hornbill species found in the Indian sub continent. It is a large bird, with a wingspan of nearly five feet. Its tail measures up to three feet.

It is a beautiful bird as well, covered in black plumage. The bill, which is curved downwards, is yellow coloured. Its head is topped with an ivory formation known as casque.

Its diet consists mainly of fruits. Sometimes, it may also include small mammals, lizards and small snakes. The average lifespan of Great Pied Hornbill is 35 years.

Great Pied Hornbill is an officially declared endangered species. The unavailability of fruit trees and the destruction of wet forests are reasons attributed to the decline of these wonderful birds.

Malay peninsula and Indonesia are other regions where Great Pied Hornbills are found.