acta ethologica

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 13–15 | Cite as

Aerial jousting and bill grappling in Indian Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros birostris)

Original Paper

Abstract

The hornbills in the family Bucerotidae have two interesting, little-studied behaviors—aerial jousting and bill grappling. The number of observations of these interactions is few and interpretations vary greatly. The few observations, always reported as singular events, have been interpreted either as aggression, social interaction, pair bonding, or play. Following our study of the Indian Grey Hornbill (Ocyceros birostris), we suggest that the bill grappling and aerial jousting may best be explained in two different contexts of the life cycle—social play in the non-breeders and as a courtship ritual in the adult, breeding birds.

Keywords

Grey Hornbill Ocyceros birostris Casque butting Bill grappling 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Dr. A. Pimplapure for the help in the study; Dr. S. Bawaskar, officer-in-charge of Maharajbag Zoo, and Mr. Khobragade, officer-in-charge Maharajbag Garden, Nagpur for their support on the premises; to Mr. A. Joshi for the help in photography and field work. We thank Susan Craig, the editor, and two anonymous reviewers for improving an earlier draft of the paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag and ISPA 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sevadal Mahila Mahavidyalaya CollegeNagpurIndia
  2. 2.International Birding and Research Centre in EilatEilatIsrael

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