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Daily News Analysis

Indian Grey Hornbill

10th July, 2023 Environment

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  • An Indian Grey Hornbill was spotted in Puducherry near the Sankarabarani river by M.S. Lara, a bird enthusiast from the Nature and Wildlife Forums.
  • Such sightings are rare and this is the first recorded sighting in Puducherry.

Other Details

  • it was spotted previously at
    • Jawadhu Hills in Tiruvannamalai district.
    • Kalvarayan Hills in Dharmapuri district.
    • The Western Ghats.
    • Adyar Estuary in Chennai.

Indian grey hornbill

  • It is the smallest bird, generally an average size of 24 inches, in the Hornbill family.
  • Known by its scientific name Ocyceros birostris, it is also called Common Grey-Hornbill.
  • It plays an important ecological role by dispersing seeds of various trees.


  • Generally found in urban settings, it is a grey-colored slender bird.
  • The main food/diet of this bird - figs and berries.
  • Horn is black or dark grey in color.
  • It has eyelashes on eyelids and has red iris.
  • It generally has a short and pointed casque.

Habitat and distribution

  • The bird mostly lives on trees.
  • It is commonly seen in pairs or small groups.
  • Main habitat is Savanna and forest type of ecosystems. For Instance -
    • Dry plains,
    • Dry deciduous forests
    • Thorny scrub jungles.
  • It is distributed throughout Indian subcontinent excluding Srilanka
    • Main land India – In himalayas foothills: from Indus to Ganga delta
    • Pakistan northeast region,
    • Nepal south region
    • Northwest part of Bangladesh.

Conservation Status

  • It is categorized as least concern in IUCN red list.
  • This species is not evaluated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Conservation efforts

  • Not much protection is needed as their status is Least Concern.
  • However in schools/colleges a nature class and a session on bird could be introduced for generating awareness about this bird and its habitat.

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Consider the following statements about Indian Grey hornbill, recently spotted in Puducherry:

1. The conservation status of this species is threatened as per the IUCN Red list.

2. It is found in all the countries of Indian subcontinent.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only

B. 2 only

C. Both 1 and 2

D. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (D)