Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill

Ocyceros gingalensis

Red List Status: LC – Least Concern (IUCN 2020)

Distribution: Endemic to Sri Lanka. 

Description: 45 cm. Male 238 g. Small grey hornbill with pale underparts and rufous vent. Sympatric larger Malabar Pied Hornbill has distinct pied plumage and much larger casque. Male has creamy bill, paler at tip with very low casque; female is smaller with blackish bill but for a yellow streak. Juveniles have smaller pale greenish bills. 

Voice: Voice is a loud ka, often in an accelerating series ka-ka-ka-ka; male and female will call in duet. 

Audio from xeno-canto

Habits: Occurs in evergreen and deciduous forests, especially in low moist areas with dense forest and creepers. It is somewhat adaptable and extends into cultivated areas and hills, less numerous in the hills but has been recorded to 1,200 m elevation. It is more widespread on the island than the sympatric Malabar Pied Hornbill, and also occurs outside of protected areas. The food is mainly fruits, particularly many small figs, but it will take a variety of both wild (38 species) and cultivated (two species) varieties. It also takes at least 18 types of animal prey; insects, scorpions, frogs, lizards and rodents have been recorded. After the breeding season in Sep-Oct, it has been reported to be somewhat nomadic; it will move into higher country looking for fruiting trees, where small groups might form.