There are 9 species of hornbill birds are found in India, Karnataka is the best place to spot four of them. Hornbills are large birds in size, characterized by brightly colored, long curved bill and very unique horn like projection on top of their beaks. Photo – Credit.
The great hornbill of India also known as great pied hornbill is largest member from the hornbill family found in the Indian subcontinent. Great pied hornbill has very impressive size and colour, found in the forests of Western Ghats (State bird of Kerala), Himalayan forest, Nagaland and state bird of Arunachal Pradesh in North East India.
Malabar pied hornbill is another big bird of the hornbill family, found in evergreen and moist deciduous forests of India and Sri Lanka. The yellow bill with black plumage bird is omnivorous and frequently spotted in the forest around Karwar, Ganeshgudi and dandeli of Karnataka.
Indian grey hornbill is the most common hornbill species found on the Indian subcontinent, commonly sighted in city area of Pune in pairs. The calls of grey hornbill is a squealing call and flight involves flapping interspersed with glides.
Malabar grey hornbill is endemic to the Western Ghats and found in dense forest in small groups with loud cackling and laughing calls. They are found mainly around the hills of southern India like in the Anaimalai Hills and around rubber, arecanut and coffee plantations of Kerala.
Oriental pied hornbill is very much simillar in appearance to Malabar pied hornbill, found in the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. The medium size pied hornbill is predominantly frugivores but also take on small reptiles, large grasshoppers and frogs.
Rufous-necked hornbill is especially found in the state of northeastern India and among the largest Bucerotine hornbills. List of protected areas in West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam are home to this orange color species of hornbill in India.
The wreathed hornbill is found in north-eastern India with some geographical variation in the appearance to Southeast Asia. Buxa Tiger Reserve in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal is one of the best place to spot wreathed hornbill in India.
The brown hornbill species is also found in the forest of North East Indian states, from lowland plains to deciduous forest. Namdapha National Park of Arunachal Pradesh is the best place to see brown hornbill in India along with Rufous-necked hornbill, Wreathed hornbill and great pied hornbill.
Narcondam hornbill species is endemic to the island of Narcondam in Andaman, predominantly fruit eaters and live only in small range of islands. For more information about this species please follow link to Wiki.
Dandeli is one of the best place for four species of hornbill sightings in India, Out the states in India, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu are home to highest number of hornbill in India followed by Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.