Indian Grey Hornbill

Conservation status

Least Concern

Population Trend


Alternate Names


Native Habitat



Fruits, Insects, Ocassionally small birds


Indian Grey Hornbill

Ocyceros birostris

The Indian Grey Hornbill is a common hornbill on the Indian subcontinent. It is mostly arboreal and is commonly sighted in pairs.

They have grey feathers all over the body with a light grey or dull white belly. The horn is black or dark grey with a casque extending up to the point of curvature in the horn. Indian Grey Hornbills usually form their nest in tree holes. A peculiar characteristic of this bird is that the female stays inside the nest and the male seals the nest hole leaving only a small hole for feeding the female. In this way they safeguard the eggs and hatchlings. While inside the nest, the female will pluck out all her feathers and throw them outside the nest so that it can maintain the required space along with the growing chicks.

The regrowth of the feathers in the female coincides with the maturity of the chicks at which point the nest is broken open. These birds usually feeds on fruits including a variety of figs and occasionally on small insects, lizards, small snakes etc.

Regional Names
  • Bengali:
    ভারতীয় ধূসর ধনেশ
  • Gujarati:
  • Hindi:
    धनचिड़ी, चलोत्रा, सेलगिल्ली, धनेश
  • Kannada:
    ಬೂದು ಮಂಗಟ್ಟೆ
  • Malayalam:
  • Marathi:
    धनेश, राखी शिंगचोचा, मसपील (आदिवासी भाग)
  • Nepali:
    सानो धनेश
  • Oriya:
  • Punjabi:
    ਧਾਨ ਚਿੜਾ
  • Sanskrit:
    वार्ध्रीणास, मातृनिंदक
  • Tamil:
    இந்திய சாம்பல் இருவாச்சி
Media Gallery

Ocyceros birostris

Quick Facts
  • It is a state bird of Chandigarh.