Nestled at an average altitude of 800-1000 mts with mixture of Moist Deciduous and Evergreen forest patches. With a lifeline river supporting the life around this place. Three major tribes survive in this land. Welcome to Kali Tiger Reserve formerly known as Dandeli Anshi Tiger Reserve. The Largest Tiger Reserve in Karnataka.
KTR (Kali Tiger Reserve) is a paradise for Bird Watchers. The Flagship species of Kali Tiger Reserve is Hornbills. There are in total 54 species of Hornbills in the World. Around 9 species of Hornbills in Indian Subcontinent. Kali Tiger Reserve is home for 4 species of Hornbills.
Among the Hornbills of Dandeli, Great Hornbill is largest and the smallest would be Malabar Grey Hornbill. Malabar Grey Hornbill is also one of the endemic species of birds of Western Ghats.
Except for Indian Grey Hornbill, the sexes of other three hornbills differ in Physical Appearance.
The Flight patterns vary and all the four species fly at different altitude.
The Unique feature of Hornbills is Casque. Except of Malabar Grey Hornbill, you can notice the presence of Casque in other three species.
These are excellent seed disperses, hence earning the name Farmers of the Forest. Hornbills main diet is Fruits, it could also feed on reptiles and insects. Which was mainly reported during Breeding season.
The Breeding season of Hornbills could vary from Jan-June. Hornbills are secondary nesters, they use the existing trees holes to Breed. The Females seals the entrance of the nest with droppings and mud mixed with saliva. The nest is sealed with mud and droppings, only an opening is left for the beak to pop out to accept the feed from the mate. She would shed her feathers and make a bed before laying the eggs. The Female is prisoned inside, until the chicks are hatched and ready to fly. During this season, her only source to ferry the food is her mate.
The feeding frequency increased once the chicks have hatched. Before the chicks are hatched, the male would probably feed only 3-4 times in a day.
Hornbill’s main diet is Fruits. It could also feed on reptiles and insects, which was mainly reported during the Breeding season. The male would regurgitate the food and feed the female and chicks.
If the male is hunted during the breeding season, or any threat to the male during the season. Could lead to destruction of entire family.