Life in a city: In a first, Hornbill couple found nesting in a concrete cavity in Indore

  • Punya Priya Mitra, Hindustan Times, Indore
  • Updated: May 20, 2015 16:35 IST

Not just humans, avians too have learnt that it is better to adapt than to perish.

In face of eroding and hostile habitats several species have learnt to make their nests on parapets, cornice and gables.

Hornbills too, it seems, are now adapting to the changing scenario.

A pair of the monogamous breeders, typically known to make nests in natural cavities in trees, was found to have built a home in a cavity on the second floor of a multi-storied building in the Old Palasia area.

This is the first time that such a phenomenon was witnessed in the business capital of the state, ornithologists say.

Ajay Gadikar, an ornithologist, who was the first to spot the Hornbill nest in the concrete creak, said this was the first time that such a change in the nesting pattern of the Indian grey Hornbill was spotted.

“I have cross-checked with fellow bird watchers and they too are very enthused by this development because it indicates that Hornbills are adapting to changing environs in the city,” Gadikar said, in an exclusive chat with HT.

“This is the breeding season for Hornbills. The cavity in the wall, in which the Hornbill pair has made their nest, has around three inch diameter and is located by the side of a window, situated 20 feet above the ground, with a small slit-like opening. This opening is by the birds to passing food to their chicks,” he said.

According to the birder, the nest was built one-and-half month back.

“The eggs have hatched…One can hear the chirps of the chicks loud and clear.”

Gadikar, who was recently shooting for a short film on the nesting habits of the species, also observed a change in the food habits of the bird.

“Hornbills are now eating rotis (bread) and biscuits,” he said.

Mhow-based bird lover, Dev Kumar Vasudevan, who has been studying local birds for over two decades, said Hornbills nesting in concrete is ‘unusual behaviour.’

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