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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bird's in Sri lanka (Part 8)

Lanka Sithasiya - Sri Lanka White-eye

Lanka Sithasiya
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : The Ceylon White-Eye
Scientific Name : Zosterops ceylonensis

1. Size of Loten's Sunbird-i.e. smaller than the sparrow, but noticeably larger than the Hin Malkurulla, from which it is readily distinguished by its darker green plumage. Sexes alike.

2. It is even more sociable than the other birds, forming very large, scattered flocks except in the breeding season, when the birds pair off.Always on the move, it spends its waking hours in an almost caseless search for small caterpillars (the tea tortix, Homona coffearia, being a special favourite), tiny moths, etc.,and in visiting nectar-producing blossoms and berry-bearing shrubs.

The breeding season is from March to May. Sometimes they have a second season in August-September. The nest is large and not quite solidly built. It is a neat cup, composed of fine fibers, moss and fluff, slung hammock-wise in a fork of a leafy twig. They lay two eggs that measure about 16.2×11.3mm. The eggs are very pale prussian blue in colour.

3. It is found only in the Sri Lankan mountains above 3,000 feet; at the higher elevations, above about 5,000 feet, it is, I think unquestionably, the commonest bird.

Lanka Kahibella - Sri Lanka blue magpie

Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : Ceylon Blue Magpie
Scientific Name : Cissa ornata (Wagler)

1. Between the Mynah and House Crow in size, but with a long, much graduated tail. Sexes Similar.

2. It is scarce and usually shy, but locally common and bolder. It associates in flocks up to six or seven, but pairs or solitary individuals are sometimes met with. A very energetic, agile bird, most of its time is spent in searching for food among foliage at all levels from the ground to the tops of tall trees. It capture the critters like hairy caterpillars, green tree-crickets, various chafer beetles, tree-frogs and lizards.

The breeding season is in the first quarter of the year, so far as is known, but the nest has seldom been found. The nest resembled a small crow's nest. It is very well concealded among small twigs and foliage near the top of the tree. The eggs number three to five and are whitish, profusely spotted and speckled with various shades of brown. They measure about 30.5 × 22.1 mm.

3. It inhabits the heavy virgin forests of the mountains and wet-zone foot hills.

Hisa-sudu Sharikava - Sri Lanka White Faced Starling

Hisasudu Sharikava
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : Sri Lanka White-faced Starling
Scientific Name : Sturnus senex (Bonaparte)

1. Size, between red-vented Bulbul and the Common Mynah Sexes similar; the young are duller, and have less white on the head. This is a sleek slenderly-built bird, with white forehead, face, throat and under tail-coverts; the white of the head merges streakily into the greenish-grey-black of the back, wings and tail; and the white throat shaded into the smoky-grey of the breast and underparts, which are streaked with white.

2. It is strictly arboreal, frequenting the tops of tall trees, and commonly associates in small flocks. Its food consists largely of wild fruits, such as cinnamon berries and the figs of several species of Ficus, but it doubtless eats insects; and like many other birds, it is very fond of the nectar of the red cotton tree.

The nest appears to have discovered only once-in April, by Frederick Lewis, many years ago. It was in a tree-hole, and the two eggs were lying on bare wood. They were pale blue, and measured about 25.6 X 20 mm.

3. This is a rare bird, confined to the tall forests, and their adjacent patanas and clearings of the wet zone, including the Adam's Peak range up to 4,000 feet or perhaps higher.

Bird's in Sri lanka (Part 7)

Ratu Demalichcha - Sri Lanka Orange-billed babbler

Ratu Demalichcha
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : Sri Lanka Orange-billed babbler
Scientific Name : Turdoides rufescens (Blyth)

1. Very similar in size and form to the Hisa-alu Demalichcha, but distinguished from it by its rofous coloration and bright orange beak and legs. Sexes similar.

2. It is fairly common, living in flocks of seven to ten or more. It is a noisy bird, and the presence of a flock may generally be known at some distance by the continual chattering, squeaking and chirping with which its members converse together. It feeds mainly on insects, but doubtless eats also many jungle berries.

The nest is concealed in dense masses of foliage in thick forest. They lay two o three eggs, measure about 24.2×18 mm. The eggs are deep greenish blue in colour.

3. It is a forest bird, seldom seen away from deep jungle. It occurs in all forests of the wet zone and in the hills to the highest elevations

Alu Demalichcha - Ashy-headed laughing thrush

Alu Demalichcha
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : The Ashy-Headed Laughing-Thrush
Scientific Name : Garrulax cinereifrons (Blyth)

1. Very slightly larger than the Southern Common Babbler, and easily distinguish from both it and the rufous Babbler by its mainly black beak, dark grey legs, grey head, and dark reddish-brown back, wings and tail. It is also a neater-looking bird.

2. Like the two preceding babblers, it lives in flocks, and is a noisy bird keeping up a constant flow of 'babblings', squeaks, and chatterings, which can easily be mistaken for those of the Rufous Babbler - and which inhabits the same jungles.

The breeding season is in the first quarter the year. Ashy-headed Laughing Thrush's nest was found only in 1984. It was on a thin tree about 15 feet high. It was an untidy football-sized mass of twigs and leaves with a neat nest-cup on top. The turquoise-blue eggs are measure about 25×18 mm.

3. It is confined to the deep forests of the wet zone and the adjacent mountains where, on the southern and western aspects of the main range, it ascends to at least 5,000 feet.

Lanka Pilachcha - White-throated flowerpecker

Lanka Pilachcha
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : White-throated Flowerpecker
Scientific Name : Dicaeum vincens (Scalter)

1. About the size of the Purple-rumed Sunbird, which it somewhat resembles at a distance; the male is at once distinguished, however, by its pure-white throat and dark bluish-grey back, while both sexes have the beak short and stout-very different from the Sunbird's.

2. It lives either solitary, in pairs, or in little family parties, and is not easy to meet with because it keeps mainly to the tops of tall trees, either in forests or on its outskirts. However, it is very fond of the nectar of the red cotton tree and when these trees are in flower-about Christmas time in its range-it may be found fairly easily.

The breeding season is from January to August. The nest is often built in a Hora tree. It is a hanging pocket of felted plant down, with the entrance at the top, just below the supporting twig. The two eggs are dull white, irregularly spotted with purplish red. They measure about 16×12 mm.

3. This scarce little bird is found only in the rain forests of the south-western parts ofthe wet zone, including the neighbouring hills up to 3,000 feet.

Bird's in Sri lanka (Part 6)

Lanka Rasa-Raviya - Sri Lanka Bush Warbler

Lanka Rasa Raviya
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : Sri Lanka Bush Warbler
Scientific Name : Bradypterus palliseri (Blyth)

1. Slightly larger than a sparrow. Sexes alike, except that the male has red irides while those of the female are pale buff.

2. It is confined to elevations above 3,000 feet, but is common in suitable country above this height. It loves nillu(Strobilanthes) and elephant grass (dwarf bamboo), and may be confindently expected where these plants from dense brakes of undergrowth in the damp hil forests. It lives usually in pairs and some times it might easily be mistaken for a mouse. It feeds on small insects, being partial to soft-bodied green crickets (Tettigoniidae), which it finds hiding on the undersides of leaves.

The nest is large for the size of the bird, and it composed of moss, grass, scrub-bamboo leaves, etc., with a fairly deep cup lined with fine fibers. The breeding season is February to May, with a secondary season in September. The two eggs, which are fragile, are described as 'oval and only slightly pointed at the small end. The colour... whitish-pink, thickly powered all over with rather deeper purplish markings and with one or two long hair-lines at deep barown the larger end. Size .9 by .67' (about 22.6 X 16.7 mm.)

3. This mouse-coloured bird is essentially an inhabitant of the dense undergrowth of the mountain forests, or of thick scrub; but occasionally it will venture into tea-fields where these adjoin forest.

Lanka Adhuru Nil-Massimara - Sri Lanka dull blue flycatcher

Andurunil Masimara
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : The Dusky-Blue Flycatcher
Scientific Name : Eumyias sordida (Walden)

1. Sparrow-sized. Sexes similar, but the juveniles are brown, heavily spotted on head, back, wing-coverts and breast with pale buff; flight feathers are broadly margined with blue-grey.

2. It is not a shy bird. It feeds mainly on flying insects, beetles, caterpillars and the like, but also eats berries such as wild yellow rasberry, lantana, etc. It has a sweet rather loud song.

The main breeding season is in the first half of the year, March and April being the favourite months; but a second -or a third-brood is often reared in August-September. The nest is a compact mass of green moss, with a neat, rather deep cup in the top, lined with fine black fibers, probably fern roots. The site is always well shaded, but not always well concealed. The normal clutch is two, but occasionally three eggs are laid. They are pale pink, freckled all over with pale burnt sienna, which often formas a zone, or cap, at the large end. They measure about 20.5 X 14.8 mm.

3. The flycatcher is confined to the hills above 2,000 feet, but is not common below 3,000 feet. It inhabits forest or well-wooded ravines on estates, gardens, etc., where plenty of shady trees give it the seclusion it loves.

Lanka Mudun Bora Demalichcha - Brown Capped Barbbler

Lanka Mudun Bora Demalichcha
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : The Brown-Capped Babbler
Scientific Name : Pellorneum fuscopillum

1. About the size of the magpie robin, but with shorter tail.Sexes similar. It is a soberly coloured bird, brown with a darker brown cap, and the face, superclilium and all underparts pale rusty.

2. A shy jungle-loving bird, it lives in pairs. The nest is a domed, outwardly untidy structure composed of dead leaves, skeleton leaves, dry grass, etc., placed on the ground among the same kind of objects, among the same kind of objects, among which it is practically impossible to distinguish unless, and until, the bird flies off at one's feet. It is often situated at the base of a tree or shrub and is always in deep forest. The two eggs are broad ovals, white or off-white and thickly speckled with some shade of brown. They measure about 22.2 X 16.2 mm.

3. It is found, wherever there is forest, throughout the island except perhaps in the driest parts of the Northern and Southern Provinces. It ascends the hills to at least 5,500 feet.