I was there at Woodbriar Group’s Monical Garden Tea Bungalow at Valparai for three days and on each of these three days, I got to hear and see the Malabar Grey Hornbills. Though, they are not as rare or massive as the Great Hornbill, they are equally beautiful.
These fruit eating birds would keep hopping from one fruit tree to another in groups of three or more. And since the bungalow was surrounded by dense forest cover and fruit bearing trees, these birds were easily seen both during the early morning hours and the late evening hours, which is their primarily feeding time.
The Malabar Grey Hornbill, which is endemic to the Western Ghats and the associated hills of Southern India lives in healthy numbers in the hills of Valparai where deforestation is not as severe as other places. Their loud cackling call is easily recognizable in these hills.
These birds are important to the preservation of the forests of the Western Ghats as they are the main seed dispersal agents for many species of fruit bearing forest trees.