As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Oriental pied hornbill on decline

12:00 AM, March 07, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 07, 2018

Loss of forest habitats, food shortage threaten the large-beaked bird in Bangladesh

Mintu Deshwara, Moulvibazar

Noted for its exceptionally beautiful large beak, oriental pied hornbill sees a gradual decrease in our country mainly due to gradual loss of dense forests.  

“Only ten years ago, one would often come across this bird and hear its call in Lawacherra forest. But they are rarely seen now,” said Swapan Deb Sajal, director of Sreemanagl-based Bangladesh Bonyo Prani Seba Foundation, an organisation working for wildlife care.

“The birds have distinct yellow beaks. Their body is deep black. But the abdomen and tail is white,” he said.

“Oriental pied hornbill is hunted for the huge beak and big feathers. Besides, some unscrupulous kabiraj (herbal practitioner) in the rural areas use it for treatment of diseases,” he said.

“Locally called 'kao dhanesh', the bird measures 55 to 60 centimetres in length, and its scientific name is anthracoceros albirostris. Eminent bird researcher Salim Ali mentioned the bird in his book,” said Dr Monirul H Khan, professor of zoology at Jahangirnagar University.

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