IUCN threat status:

Endangered (EN)

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Biology

Like many other hornbills (5), the Narcondam hornbill feeds mainly on fruit, with figs making up the majority of the diet (2). Their impressive beaks are used to reach ripe fruit, which is then tossed back into the gullet (5). At fruiting trees, groups consisting of up to 50 Narcondam hornbills may congregate (2). In addition to their curious beaks, hornbills are noted for their peculiar breeding habits (4). During the breeding season, which extends between February and April, and following mating, female Narcondam hornbills squeeze into tree cavities, between 2 and 16 metres above the ground (2). The female then uses her own droppings to seal herself within the cavity, leaving only a thin slit open (4). Within this self-made prison, the female will remain for the duration of egg-laying and chick-rearing, leaving the male responsible for foraging and returning to the nest to feed the female through the narrow slit by regurgitation (2). During this time, the female also sheds her flight feathers and is incapable of flight (7). Narcondam hornbills usually lay two eggs, generally around ten days apart (2).

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Source: ARKive

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