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A barn owl can consume upto 350 rats and mice in one year. It's spectacularly acute sense of hearing, and asymmetric ears, enable it to locate mice in near total darkness. Superbly sensitive binocular vision,a 100 times better than ours, then locks onto the prey. It flies silently because of soft ,comb like tips of its wings and its feathered legs muffle wind noise.

Many large bird species may prefer to fly together in formation because it is the most economical way to travel. Energy expenditure is greatly reduced when birds fly at an optimal distance from each other.

Different bird species start their morning song at different times. Researchers report that this may be linked to how well the bird can see in dim light. Birdsong is used to attract mates and defend territory, but can also draw the attention of predators. The bird starts singing only when it is confidant that it can spot an approaching predator.

In order to take care of their feathers, birds indulge in dust baths. Dust is both absorbent and abrasive which cleans the plumage by scouring dirt from the feathers.

Great Pied Hornbill :
A large pied bird,(130 cms. without bill) with an enormous, stout yellow and black horn shaped bill, surmounted by a cumbersome looking casque.

Nishi tribals in Arunachal Pradesh used hornbill beaks to denote social status. They have now been persuaded to wear fibreglass hornbill beaks instead!

The local slang name is Malakulukki, which means "mountain shaking" because of its resonant call reverberating in the forest clad valleys.

With a five and a half foot wingspan, the wingbeat can be heard over half a mile away!

All hornbills are monogamous. They stick with the same mates throughout their lives.
They nest in naturally existing holes in trees. The female seals herself up inside the cavity, using wet mud and faeces to build a wall with a vertical slit, and then proceeds to moult all her flight feathers. In some cases the male helps to seal her in. She will be confined to the nest until the chicks are ready to leave. The slit in the wall will be used by the male to feed the family and for sanitation purposes by the residents.

Birds at Inheritance India :
Sightings of the Great Pied Hornbill are very frequent from our estate, sometimes upto 20 of them flying in twos and fours across the valley from one feeding tree to another. There have also been several sightings at very close quarters.

We have initiated ornithological studies linked with the Aligarh Muslim University, on the vertical stratification of birds.

The growing checklist includes 108 species as of now, many of them rare and endemic, including The Great Pied Hornbill, Malabar trogon, Wynaad Laughing thrush, Little Spiderhunter, Common buzzard, Black Eagle, Brown Hawk Owl and many more.

Click here for the check-list of birds at the Inheritance India Sites.

Mammals. Nurturing Nature. Reptiles & Amphibians.
Insects. Fungus. Plants & Trees.

Inheritance India Land Conservation Company Private Limited.
4, Shakti, Gr Floor, 521 Adenwalla Road, Five Gardens, Matunga, Mumbai 400019, India.
Tel: +91 (22) 3090 1718 / 2414 5225.  Fax: +91 (22) 2415. 6640
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