First recorded sighting of Indian Gray Hornbill in Puducherry

The Indian gray hornbill seen perched on a Seemai Karuvelam tree in Puducherry
| Photograph Credit score: Courtesy, M.S. Lara

In a uncommon sighting, the Indian gray hornbill (Ocyceros birostris), typically present in city settings, was just lately sighted by a chicken fanatic from the Nature and Wildlife Boards in Koodapakkam, close to the Sankarabarani river in Puducherry.

Although the chicken, the smallest within the Hornbill household has been beforehand sighted within the Jawadhu Hills in Tiruvannamalai district, the Kalvarayan Hills in Dharmapuri district, the Western Ghats, and on the Adyar Estuary in Chennai within the current previous, that is mentioned to be the primary sighting of the chicken from Puducherry.

Hen fanatic M.S. Lara alias Ramesh noticed the chicken throughout a routine chicken watching session in Koodapakkam on Sunday, July 2, 2023.

“I observed a grey-colored slender chicken with a protruding casque perched on a coconut tree and in a while a Seemai Karuvelam (Prosopis juliflora) tree. The chicken had lengthy tail feathers that had white suggestions,” he mentioned. Lara instantly photographed the chicken and shared the picture with members of the Nature and Wildlife Boards WhatsApp group who confirmed that it was the Indian Gray Hornbill. He additionally cross-checked with wildlife lovers who had recorded the chicken’s sighting on eBird, a worldwide on-line database of chicken observations.

Lara mentioned that he and his buddies noticed the chicken for 3 consecutive days within the space. The chicken is usually arboreal, and is usually present in pairs in dry plains, open habitats, dry deciduous forests and thorny scrub jungles.

Arun Nagalingam, secretary of the Nature Society of Puducherry mentioned this was the primary recorded sighting of the Indian Gray hornbill in Puducherry. “Although there might have been earlier sightings of the chicken in city settings in Puducherry, these haven’t been recorded. Academic establishments ought to introduce nature courses and birding classes to generate consciousness about chicken life within the environment, in addition to to garner assist for the conservation of nature and the atmosphere,” he mentioned.

In accordance with S. Vimalraj, a naturalist of the Indigenous Biodiversity Basis, a non-profit organisation, the chicken feeds on figs and berries and performs an vital position within the dispersal of seeds of assorted timber. “Throughout nesting, the feminine seals herself in a big cavity in a tree with solely a small slit open to obtain meals from the male. The feminine then stays within the cavity for 2 to 3 months and when the juveniles mature, each the birds cater to the wants of the juveniles,” he mentioned.

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