Powered by Blogger.

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.

Bird's in Sri lanka (Part 5)

Lanka Pitha-Kan Kondaya - Sri Lanka yellow-eared Bulbul

Lanka Petha-Kan Kondaya
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : TheYellow-Eared Bulbul
Scientific Name : Pycnontus penicilatus (Blyth)

2. This Bird is not a shy bird. It is usually found in pairs or in small flocks. It feeds mainly on both fruits and insects.

The main breeding season is in February-May and the secondary breeding season is in August-October. There nest is a stout mass of green moss with a deep well lined with fine rootlets or other fibers. Two white or pink ground-colour eggs are measure about 23.4×16.7 mm.

3. This bulbul is an up-country bird. It is not common below 4000 feet. It frequents jungle, wooded ravines and well-wooded gardens.

Lanka Arangaya - Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush

Lanka Arangaya
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : Sri Lankan Whistling -Thrust
Scientific Name : Myiophoneus blighi

1. Head and neck is black in color. Shoulder, dorsal area and brest are dark blue. Bright blue shoulder patch can be seen in male. Flight fethers rump,main tail are blackish bround.Beak and feet are black. Iris is broun. Belly is brown

Female is more browner. Her shoulder patch is pale. The plumage of imature bird is more beown with little blue.

2. This bird is very shy. They prefer thick under groths. Sometimes it comes out. It can be seen hunting or singing on sticks or rocks beside streams. They prey on creatures like insects, geckos.
The breeding season lies from March to May. But the April is more important. They make the nest on banks or on branchers of 5-10 feet tall tree. The neat is cup shaped. The “Varalla” and ferns are used as main building materials. Inside the nest is made out of
dead leaves. About two white color eggs with pale and red brown colored patches and
strips are laied at a time. But most of the time only a one offspring is born. Haching is done by female, but the feeding is done by both male and female.

3. They live hidden in place with water flowa at about 3000 feet elevations. They can be seen in thick under growths near flowing streams….They are recorded in Haggala Horton place. Today they are restricted to the higher elevations of central hills. This bird is difficult to find due to it’s shyness.

Lanka Thitpiya Thirasikya - Sri Lanka Spot-winged Thrush

Lanka Thithpiya Thirasikaya
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : The Spotted-Winged Thrush
Scientific Name : Zoothera spiloptera (Blyth)

1. Between the bulbul and the mynah in size. Sexes alike. The young rather closely resemble the female Pied Ground Thrush, but many be distinguished by the characteristic facial pattern of the white and black, which is similar to that of the adult.

2. It is rather shy but also inquisitive; a singing male easily decoyed within sight by whistling an imitation of its song, which is rich, varied and sweet-toned performance, usually uttered from a perch in the lower branches of the tree-canopy. It feeds on insects, worms, etc., and probably also on berries.

They have two breeding seasons. One is in March-April and other is in August-November. The nest is placed in a fork of a sapling, balanced on cardamom-fronds, or in the crown of a tree-fern, etc., in forest. The two eggs laid are measure about 26.8×19.7 mm.

3. This thrush is found throughout the hills, ascending to 7,000 feet; throughout the low-country wet zone; and in scattered localities in the dry zone, but its main habitat seems to lie between the 500 and 5,000 feet contours. It is a bird of forest, or well-wooded country.

Bird's in Sri lanka (Part 4)

Rathnalal Kottoruwa - Sri Lanka Yellow Fronted Barbet

Rannalal Kottoruwa
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : The Yellow-Fronted Barbet
Scientific Name : Megalaima flavifrons (Cuvier)

1. Between the Red-vented Bulbul and Common Mynah in size. Sexes alike. The yellow forehead, blue face, and comparatively small beak, distinguish this bird from the last.

2. Throughout its range it is a common bird, not shy, and well known for its resounding calls, which form a pleasant feature of its haunts.The Yellow-fronted Barbet feeds on numerous kinds of berries, wild figs, and cultivated fruits such as guavas and pawpaws-being rather a pest in orchards. It feeds its young mainly on fruit, but also on some animal food as W.W.A. Philips has published a photograph of one at its nest-hole with a gecko in its beak.

The breeding season is from February to May, with a secondary season in August-September, but an occasional nest may be found at other times of the year. The nest-hole is very similar to that of the Brown-headed Barbet but slightly smaller- about two inches in diameter. The cavity inside is oval and, if a new one, is about eight inches deep; but sometimes the birds use a nest for several years running, digging it deeper each year until it may be two feet or more deep. The height from the ground varies greatly, but is usually from six to ten feet. The two or three white, and smooth but not glossy, eggs measure about 28 × 21 mm.

3. It is mainly a bird of the hills which it ascends to at least 6,500 feet, but it is found in many parts of the low-country wet zone, and in scattered colonies in some dry-zone districts to the east of the mountains. In many of its habits it resembles the Brown-headed Barbet, but is more partial to heavy forest although by no means confined to it.

Oluwa Rathu Kottoruwa - Sri Lanka Crimson Barbet

Oluwa Rathu Kottoruwa
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : Crimson-fronted Barbet
Scientific Name : Megalaima rubricapilla (Gmelin)

1. Slightly larger than a sparrow. Sexes alike. The bright green upperparts, orange-yellow-face and throat-patches, and very small scarlet breast-spot, distinguish it from the Crimson-breasted Barbet.

2. Out of the breeding season it is very gregarious, forming large, scattered flocks especially in the neighbourhood of fruiting trees, such as banyan, bo, and other wild figs; like all barbets it is predominantly a fruit eater. After gorging themselves, they repair to the top branches and indulge in their hobby of vocal music, making the air pulsate with the chorus of pop op oping-to the distraction of their human audience.

The breeding season is from January to June. The nest-hole is indistinguishable from that of the Crimsone-breasted Barbet, but is more often, I think, dug into the lower surface of a sloping branch rather than into an upright post, and is usually higher in a tree than with that species. Dead branches of breadfruit, dadap, and flamboyant are much favoured as nesting site by both species. Two or three white eggs are laid on the bare wood at the bottom of cavity; they measure about 25.5 x 18.2 mm.

3. This is a very common bird in cultivated or openly-wooded country throughout the wet zone up to 4,000 feet, and in scattered colonies in parts of the dry zone.

Hisa Kalu Kondaya - Black-crested Bulbul

Hisakalu Kondaya
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : The Black-capped Bulbul
Scientific Name : Pycnontus melanicterus(Gmelin)

1. Rather smaller than the Red-vented Bulbul. In general coloration some what like the preceding species, but at once distinguished by its black cap and white-tipped, dark-brown tail.

2. It is found in pairs or small parties. Its call-note is a plaintive, minor-key whistle on an ascending scale, something like yor, yer ye, or wer wer we we - each syllable higher than the last.

The nest is very similar to the small ones of Red-vented Bulbul. It is a cup, composed of small twigs, rootlets, etc., rather flimsily built, and line scantily with fibres. It is well concealed among foliage, either in a low bush or in a small tree growing in a wooded ravine or on the outskirts of forest, etc. The eggs normally number two, and they resemble small ones of Red-vented Bulbul, being pinkish white, heavily spotted and speckled with reddish brown. They measure about 20.9 × 15.7 mm.

3. Black-capped Bulbul is found in throughout the hills, up to at least 4,000 feet, and in scattered colonies in the dry zone except in the most arid parts. It prefers forest varied by open country, shoals and the like, to dense forest.

Bird's in Sri lanka (Part 3)

Lanka Bata Eti Kukula - Sri Lanka green Billed Coucal

Lanka Bata Etikukula
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : The Green Billed Coucal
Scientific Name : Centropus chlorohynchus Blyth

1. Slightly smaller than the Common Coucal, from which it may at once be distinguished by its leg, like-green beak; its wings, too, are much darker chestnut, and the sheen on the head and neck is purple, not blue. Sexes alike.

2. A very shy and elusive bird, it is far better known by its calls than by sight but, wherever the wet-zone forests have been spared the axe, it is still fairly common; its range, however, is rapidly dwindling and as it shows no sign of being able to adjust itself to new conditions, there can be no doubt that its days will soon be numbered - with those of several ither endemic forest birds - unless wise foresight reserves extensive forest sanctuaries in the wet zone.

3. This coucal is found only in the forests of the wet zone, west, south-west and south of the main mountain massif, which it ascends to 2,500 feet, or perhaps higher.

Lanka Pitathbala Vana Bssa - Chestnut Backed Owlet

Lanka Pitathabala Vana-Bassa
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : The Chestnut-Backed Owlet
Scientific Name : Glaucidium castanonotum (Blyth)

1. About the size of the Collared Scops Owl. Sexes alike. This little owl is very like the last species in shape, size, and general apperance but it is chestnut on back, scapulars, and wing-coverts, and has white underparts marked with blackish shaft-streaks, and bars on the flanks. Some specimens have white spots on the outer scapulars. Irides bright yellow; feet pale yellow.

2. It is shy and wary, and as it frequents the tops of tall trees, usually on steep hillsides, it is seldom seen. It is very diurnal in habits, often hunting and calling in broad daylight. The Mukalan Bassa feeds mainly on insects, such as beetles, but also captures mice, small lizards, and small birds, on occasion; most likely, the larger vertebrate forms of prey are taken only when young are being fed.

The breeding season is from March to May, the eggs being laid on the bare wood in a hole in the trunk or limb of a tree. The two glossy white eggs measure about 35 × 28.2 mm.

3. This owl appears to have been fairly common in Legge's time in many parts of the southern half of the Island, especially the hills and wet-zone low country extending to outskirts of Colombo; but its range has undoubtedly shrunk very greatly since then, and it is now found sparingly in the remaining forests of the wet zone and adjoining hills up to 6,500 feet.

Alu Kadaththa - Sri Lanka grey hornbill

Alu Kadatta
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : The Ceylon Grey Hornbill
Scientific Name : Ocyceros gingalensis (Shaw)

1. Size about that of the Black Crow, but with much longer bill and tail. Sexes alike, except that the bill of the female is dull black with a long cream patch on the side of the side of the upper mandible.

2. It lives in pairs or small flocks except when some wild fig tree is in fruit, when large numbers will assemble to feed on the fruit. In spite of its size it is often very inconspicuous as it has a habit of sitting quietly among foliage, in a very upright position, turning its head stealthily in all directions while scanning the environment for food. Its favourite abode is the medium levels of tall forest, where hanging creepers and lianas supply convenient perches as well as concealment.

The breeding season is from April to August. The nest is cavity in the bole of a large tree, usually at height from the ground. The eggs number one to three, are white, soon getting dirty, and measure about 41.5×33 mm.

3. This hornbill is common in all low-country forested areas, both wet and dry zone, and it occasionally ascends the hills to 4,000 feet though it is decidedly rate at such elevations.

Bird's in Sri lanka (Part 2)

Lanka Giramalitha -Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot

Lanka Giramalitta
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot
Scientific Name : Loriculus beryllinus (Forster)

Size of a House Sparrow. Sexes alike, but the female is duller, coloured than the male, and has only a trace of pale-blue throat-patch; young birds have the head all green, but otherwise resemble their parents.

2. It is strictly arboreal, never descending to the ground. Although often solitary, companions are never far away, and it keeps them informed of its movements by constantly uttering, while o the wing, a sharp three-syllabled whistle twiwittwit...twitwitwit. The lorikeet is a convivial little bird, delighting in juicy fruits, the nectar of flowers(especially dadap and red cotton), and the juice of palms collected in toddy-drawers' pots.

The lorikeet breeds in the first half of the year, and sometimes again in July-September. Its breeding habits are highly remarkable. The eggs are white and nearly spherical, measuring about 19.3 X 16 mm.

3. This brilliantly-coloured little parrot is found everywhere in the hills up to 4,000 feet, and in the north-east monsoon it ascends a thousand feet higher; it also inhabits the low-country wet zone and parts of the dry zone to the south of the Northern Province.

Lanka Alu Girawa - Layard's Parakeet

Lanka Alu Girawa
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : Layard's Parakeet
Scientific Name : Psittacula calthrope Blyth

1. Between the Rose-ringed Parakeet and the Blossom-headed Parakeet in size. The female is duller than the male, and has the beak black. Young birds are green, with the head darker, and the lower back and rump colbalt blue; their beaks are at first dull orange, later black, from which colour that of the male gradually changes to bright scarlet of the adult. The dark grey head (green around the eye), pale grey back, and comparatively short, deep bluetail distinguish this from other Sri Lankan Parakeets.

2. Its cry is quite ditinctive

Vatha Rathu Malkoha - Red Faced Malkoha

Wataratu Malkoha
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : The Red-Faced Malkoha
Scientific Name : Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus (Pennant)

1. About the length of Common Coucal, but more slenderly built and with, proportionally, a much longer tail. Sexes alike, except that the female has white irides-those of the male being brown. This handsome bird cannot mistaken for any other species on the Sri Lankan list.

2. It inhabits tall forest, and lives either solitary, in pairs, or in small flocks. It is shy and restless, a dweller in the tree canopy, where, like the last species, it cleverly threads its way through tangled twigs, creepers and foliage.

The breeding season is in the first half of the year and probably again in August-September. The nest is described as a shallow saucer of grass, roots and twigs, very carelessly put together, and placed in high bushes in forest with thick undergrowth. The two or three eggs are white, with a chalky surface, and they measure about 35.8 X 27 mm.

3. The Red-Faced Malkoha is regularly seen at Sinharaja and few other remaining rain forests, frequents associating with feeding waves. It is also found in scattered riverine habitats in the dry zone, such as Lahugala, Wasgamuwa, Manik Ganga and Kubukkan Oya.

Bird's in Sri lanka (Part 1)

Lanka Haban Kukula

Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : The Ceylon Spurfowl
Scientific Name : Galloperdix bicalcarata (Forster)

Size of a partridge, or of a half grown village fowl. The hen resembles a small, brown village chicken; the cock, with his white-spangled black foreparts and dark chestnut hinder parts, is unmistakable.

Strictly a forest bird, it is so shy and wary that its presence in a district would often pass quite unknown were it not for its unmistakable cry; this reveals that it is not uncommon in much of the more densely forested parts of its range. The cry is peculiar, ringing cackle, consisting of series of three-syllabled whistles.
Distinctly a ground bird. The food consists of various seeds, fallen berries, termites and other insects, and it scratches vigorously for them amongst the dead leaves, etc.,of the forest floor.
The breeding season is in the north-east monsoon, and sometimes a second brood is raised in July-September. The nest is a slight scrape in the ground in the shelter of a rock, bush, etc. The eggs from the normal clutch, but up to five have been recorded; they are cream or warm buff in colour, and exactly resemble miniature hens' eggs in appearance. They measure about 43 × 31 mm.

This bird widely distributed in the southern half of the Island, both in in the hills, up to 7,000 feet, and in the low country; but is commonest in the damp rain-forests of the wet zone. It also occurs locally in riverrine forests of the dry zone, in both the northern and southern half of the island.

Lanka Wali Kukula - Sri Lanka Junglefowl

Wali Kukula
Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : The Ceylon Junglefowl
Scientific Name : Gallus lafayettii Lesson

Size of a small, but not bantam, breed of domestic fowl.

Haban Kukula is a fairly common bird. It spends its life in forest or its outskirts, never venturing far from cover, though, especially in wet weather, it likes to frequent open places, such as roadsides or glades.The food of the Haban Kukula consists of grain, weed seeds, berries, various succulent leaves and buds, and a large proportion of small animals, such as crickets, centipedes and termites. When nillu flowers and seeds in up-country jungles, junglefowl migrate to these areas in large numbers to fatten on the abundant seed.
The main breeding season is in the first quarter of the year, but often a second clutch is laid in August-September, and breeding may go on throughout the year. The nest is often a shallow scrape in the ground, concealded by herbage, at the foot of a tree or beside a dead log. The eggs number two to four; they are creamy-white, some very finely peppered, other more boldly but sparingly speckled with brown. They measure about 48 × 35 mm.


The Junglefowl is distributed throughout the Island, whenever jungle or dense scrub of any extent is to be found, but it is nowadays common only in the wilder parts of the dry zone.

Lanka Mailagoya - Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon

Endemic & Threatened Birds in Sri Lanka
Local Name : The Ceylon Wood Pigeon
Scientific Name : Columba torringtonii (Bonaparte)

About the size of the domestic pigeon, but with a long tail. Sexes alike. Young birds are duller, and have only a trace of he black and white 'chess board' patch on the side of the neck.

Exclusively a forest dweller, It lives in pairs though small flocks will form where food is abundant. It is strictly arboreal, feeding on a variety of small jungle fruits and berries, among which the fruits of the wild cinnamon are much liked.

The breeding season is from February to May, and again from August to October. The nest is the usual pigeon-type, scanty platform of twigs; it is placed among foliage and twiggery in the canopy of a forest tree, or in the top of a tall sapling, usually at height of fifteen to twenty feet. The single, white egg measures about 38.5 X 28.2 mm.

This handsome pigeon is confined to the hill forest of Sri Lanka, though it has a close relation (the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon), of very similar appearance and habits, in the hills of South India. It s normal range is from 3,000 feet upwards to the highest elevations, but it wanders about a great deal and sometimes descends as low as 1000 feet in the damp forests of the wet zone.

Sunil Santha-Program Singer

It was a time that Sri lankans thought Music Means copying Hindustan and Tamil tunes .Sunil Santha was one of the pioneers of Sri lanka who did not stick to Hindustan and Tamil tunes and introduced Sinhala "sarala songs". He showed the Sri Lankan musicians the correct path, and answered the musicians of this country with his songs of creativity.

He had a wonderful flowing voice to him and produced well-known tunes to give away sub tunes.
He had a good knowledge to analyze songs hence he could produce " Sarala songs "successfully. But he was never satisfied; therefore he thoroughly studied and went further to use pure literature. Educated people who were surrounding him too helped him to make his effort a success.

The Radio Ceylon started to broadcast his songs up to about 1955 until He left from songs field. It caused to make him the most popular singer in the Island during that period.
Sunil Santa did a good capacity of service for the song field of this country and people memories him and remind him with honor due to his cleverness and creativity. He protected his studies of songs. But he never knelt down in front of any person. Not worshiped any body to his subject. He did not expect promotions. He protected policy and lived in an honesty way and showed a great lesson to the musicians of this country.

Shesha Palihakkara

Shesha Palihakkara had been famous for almost five decades ever since he acted in the Sinhala film 'Mathalan' which was a box office success then. 'Mathalan' left an indelible impression in the minds of Sri Lankan film goers. People still talk about 'Mathalan' and its songs that remain popular with us.
Shesha played the dual role of a despotic king and his son. He played the role of a powerful king in 'Mathalan'. The king was a sadist who was hell-bent on taking revenge from his wife after she gave birth to a son.

He also played the opposite role by acting as the son of the king. Shesha is a versatile person having being an actor, a reputed film director and producer. 'Ranmuthuduwa', 'Getawarayo' and 'Saarawita' are some of the award winning popular Sinhala films that he was associated with. Shesha hails from Ruppagoda, a village in Kadawatte in Gampaha district and is a product of both St. Benedict's College, Kotahena and at St. Joseph's, College Colombo.
Although he was 14, he never had the slightest idea of learning dancing or getting involved with the film industry until he saw Chitrasena dance in the Vidrura ballet. His dance captivated the young lad. He was determined to meet Chitrasena and learn dancing from him. By this time he was studying for his Senior School Certificate (S.S.C.), but found he was not interested in studies any more. But one thing that he was keen was to learn dancing at any cost. Finally he left for Shanthi Nikethan to learn dancing. Shanthi Nikethan was 95 miles away from Calcutta. Having studied at Shanthi Nikethan for almost two and a half years he decided to enrol himself at the Institute of Kalashethra in South India to major in dancing. He covered the major portion of the syllabus at Shanthi Nikethan including painting, sculpture and dancing as his forte was dancing.

He was admitted to the Kalashethra in Adyar. It was about nine miles from Madras in South India.
He joined the Kalashesthra and worked hard under two renowned traditional teachers of dancing for about a year. Shesha wound up studies and came to Sri Lanka in 1948 to take part in the Pageant of Sri Lanka. It was a cultural event depicting historical events of Sri Lanka. The event was organized by a committee of artistes including P. Saravanamuthu during the first Independence Day celebrations. There were spectacular Kandyan and low country dances. Chitrasena too organized a ballet in which he played the role of Ravana. Rama was played by Premakumar and Seetha was played by Iranagani Meedeniya. Shesha had played the role of Lakshmana in that play.Shesha set up a school for dancing at Borella. Dr. P.R. Anthonis, and K.D.A. Perera who was the principal at the Aesthetic institution had helped him.

After directing dancing in two Sinhala films, viz 'Ahankara Isthri' and 'Puduma Leli' Shesha was asked by the director Nagarajah to act in a Sinhala film called 'Matalan' that was about to be produced. After an audition Shesha was selected to play the main role in 'Matalan' and the entire troupe left for Madras in 1953. It had taken almost a year to produce 'Mathalan' in India and except for a few outdoor scenes the rest was filmed inside film studios. Shesha, however, being a stage artiste was not so keen remain an actor.

Shesha never expected the film to be a success. He had to decide whether to pursue a career in acting or remain a theatre artiste in 1954. Meanwhile Lester James Peries was starting the film 'Rekhawa' and Shesha played the role of an astrologer and a man on stilts. He said he enjoyed the film because everything was fresh and most actors were not professionals except for a few. In fact, he had introduced Ananada Weerakoon to 'Rekhawa'. Although 'Rekhawa was not a box office success it was accepted by many as a unique film.Meanwhile a group of film makers from USA arrived in Sri Lanka in 1954 to make a film, Bridge on the River Kwai. It was a big production and Shesha was given an assignment in the make up department.

The filming of 'Bridge on the River Kwai' went on for about five months and when it was over Shesha had a letter from his friend Ramgopal to join him in a tour to South America. He then took a ship to London and joined his friend Ramgopal in London in 1956. After being with him for over ten months Shesha joined the Asian Music Society, founded by the world's renowned violinist Yehudi Mehudin and visited most of the universities in Europe. Shesha returned home in 1959. stricken with asthma.

"Mahagama Sekera’"

"Mahagama Sekera’s verse; honed with a sensitivity to recognise humanity and life, an understanding of tradition and heritage, and an unbounded compassion to human beings; was not only the language of his heart, it was the mark of his genius. It is true that he traversed his creative ocean as a novelist, filmmaker and an artist; but it was the poem that blossomed in his heart as a lotus, exuding fragrance. Has this poetic path been adequately reviewed? We are curious to know if the Sinhala poetic form, which Sekera explored and indeed whose traditional boundaries he shattered as he searched for its identity, has been subject to serious inquiry.

His poetry has the rare quality of humility, he shies away from investigation and implores the reader not to search for him in his work. Thus he consciously recognised the full agentic power of the reader and only speaks of "hopes".

Sekera never demanded. This is evident in the introductory poem in the collection Sakvalihini titled "Mage kaviyen oba dakinna" (view yourself in my poem), which is translated below. It is indeed a gentle and very revealing note on how Sekera wanted to be read, or, more precisely, how he ought not to be read, and why.

"Look not for me in my poem. You and I, and all of us are journeying towards a morning star shining at the far end of a dim sky, knowing and not knowing that we are. Someday, all of you will encounter the great mountains and steep cliffs I meet along the way. When you stumble and lose your way among the many traps along the path, when your body is soiled by the mud showered by untruths, when, bludgeoned, you cling to the earth with weak hands, when that day you weep helplessly just as I have wept, my poetry will becomes yours. Friend! Then, without searching, find yourself and not me in my verse. When the blood that flows from my feet as they break upon thorns and hard gravel, points out the correct path from those that lead astray, and you come to your journey’s end to find the morning star, if you happen to do so before me, a felicitation of flowers will bloom for your feet. Among those petals, find me."


The doyen of Sri Lankan Cinema, and internationally recognized as one of the world’s great film directors.

His film classics include

Gamperaliya (The Changing Village / 1963), which won the Grand Prix (Golden Peacock) at the 3rd International Film Festival of India 1965,

Nidhanaya (The Treasure / 1970), Kaliyugaya (The Age of Kali / 1983) and

Yuganthaya (The End of an Era / 1985).

He is a member of the Legion of Honour (Republic of France) and received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Film Festival of India in January 2000.

Jeorge Keyt

Keyt's artistic career spanning more then sevan decades has enriched the treasury of art this country and won him recognition abroad as well. George keyt was born in the Sri Lankan hill capital kandy in 1901. His parents were Henry Keyt and Constancy sproule who were of indo-Dutch origin. He was educated at Trinity College one of the leading educational institutions in the Kandy area.

His passion for art began while he was still at school. Keyt won his first art prize at the age of 15 and his first public exhibit was a pen and ink drawing displayed at the annual exhibition of the Ceylon society of arts. Since 1947, George Keyt has held more then 25 one-man exhibitions in Sri Lanka.

Buddhism has played a leading role in the art and work of George Keyt.From an early age he was drawn towards the teaching of the Buddha and this influenced him in his works later in life.
He became greatly drawn towards Buddhism as soon as he understood the enduring appeal of its basic concepts, and while yet a very young man, championed the cause of Buddhist revival. He wrote profusely both prose and verse to Buddhist publications, While contributing decorative drawings on religious subjects as well" George Keyt has maintained a degree of individuality in his paintings from the start. His paintings have covered a number of varied themes from Buddhist and also musical moods.

The Jataka tales (stories of the previous lives of the Buddha) have also been featured extensively in his artwork. He has also done murals on temples in which the monastic, court and village life of the old times are depicted. these paintings are of great interest and rear quality.
George Keyt was a founder member of one of the most influential art groups in Sri Lanka in 1943, eight artist and keyt got together to from the 43 group in a number of European countries from 1952 on wards.

Several of Keyts painting were taken to London for exhibition and have been lying there for over 40 years. The George Keyt Foundations which was setup in 1988 to honor the artist and promote his work, now trying to get these painting returned to Sri Lanka. The foundation is also aiming to set up a modern art gallery to helf to young and aspiring artists and provide them a place to house their paintings.

The George Keyt foundation is situated at 42/5, Ananda Coomarasvamy Mavatha Colombo 3.


What does forty years of dancing mean in Sri Lanka ? With a rich and variegated tradition stretching back to several hundreds, if not to over a two thousand years, with a tradition of such antiquity within which whole communities passed down an uncontaminated art from generation to generation, there must have lived many a master of the dance who could look back to his fortieth year of dancing with pride and retrace his rhythmic steps with immense satisfaction to the first day, when he stood at the dandikanda (barre) as a little lad and decided to be a Guru some day.

To any dancer, forty years is a remarkable achievement, an occasion for celebration. To the dancer in Sri Lanka, it is even more - a test of exceptional loyalty and dedication to his art, a trial of unrelenting perseverance in the face of poverty and social scorn, a great triumph over the severest odds, a tremendous personal victory.

But with Chitrasena, forty of dancing years is something positively and intensely more significant, more important. Undoubtedly for him too, the completion of this long period carries a sense of personal achievement, bringing memories of struggle and triumph of quest and conquest of bitter and happy days, of lean and prosperous years.

But these achievements and triumphs are now no more individual and personal. Here, at the end of these forty years, Chitrasena emerges in our retrospective vision, an important artist in an important epoch - whose forty years are now become an indelible part of a country's cultural history; whose personal achievements are now, inseparable elements in a nation's aesthetic and emotional life. His triumphs have so much composed our present, that his failures too must now be reckoned as inalienable from our national destiny. If ever we as a nation, have the capacity to evaluate our own artists, we have now come to a stage,... or rather, Chitrasena has brought us to a stage, when we shall have to speak of his successes and defeats as ours.
Important epoch

It was indeed in the middle of an important epoch that Chitrasena emerged, as yet another maker of that age in which we live. The Anagarika Dharmapala had fulfilled his spiritual mission and the first fruits of his life's - work were only being harvested. Ananda Coomaraswamy was rediscovering the indigenous arts and had already addressed his celebrated Letter to the Kandyan Chiefs. In India, Tagore had established his Shantiniketan. His lectures on his visit to Sri Lanka, in 1934 had inspired a revolutionary change in the outlook of many an educated man and woman. The Poet-Sage of re-awakened India had stressed the need for a people to discover its own culture to be able to assimilate fruitfully the best of other cultures.
Chitrasena was a school-boy then, and the house of his father, Seebert Dias, a well-known actor of the day had become a veritable cultural centre, in and out of which went the literary and artistic intelligentsia of the time, Seebert Dias, whose acting as Shylock had captivated the English-speaking audiences, now produced the first Sinhala ballet, Sirisangabo 'presented in Kandyan technique'. Chitrasena played the lead role, and people were talking of the boy's talents.
Some years before, Pavlova had visited India and taken away Udaya Shankar to Europe where his performances were making a name for all Oriental dancing. Menaka and her Kathak performances and Ram Gopal's Bharata Natyam were acquiring international fame. Some of these famous Indian exponents of the dance had already visited Sri Lanka.

In Sri Lanka's upper layers the parlour-piano and musical Victoriana were being abandoned in favour of Kandyan dancing, the sitar and the esraj. A new elite was rising which was turning a self-conscious if sentimental eye towards the indigenous arts. While there was a fair amount of romanticism and ostentation in all this, the trend was not altogether without authenticity and conviction, and it was as the movement was gathering momentum that a right intuition sent Chandralekha, the wife of the artist JDA, and Chitrasena to study Indian dancing under the traditional Indian gurus.

Their first choice was the Chitrodaya School of Travancore where they were to study Kathakali, the dance drama of Kerala, under the celebrated guru Gopinath who later, at the completion of Chitrasena's training said of him in that typical prophetic style of the Oriental gurus "He will soon become a great dancer, having no rival in the art".

Despite this trend the major tide of colonial civilization flowed unabated. A slavishly-imitative elite, half-baked in European manners and victims of the West's post-industrial commercial culture, still ruled the roost and set the pace, inciting among the nationalist elite a cultural chauvinism equally virulent.

Desperate struggle
Meanwhile in the villages the traditional masters of the dance held tenaciously to their art in a desperate struggle to preserve it for posterity. But with democratic institutions had come social mobility. Their sons, lured by the glitter and gold of the cities were exercising their new-found freedom and abandoning the hereditary art for the more secure jobs of peons and porters.
They were being realistic. They were right. The Sinhala dance was fighting a losing battle in the villages, among the commonfolk. The old social structures which sustained it had given way. The aristocracy had now shifted their interests to the Bridge table of the Planters' Club. Before the advance of modern medicine, the exorcist ritual was dying a natural death. Thus the less-enterprising of the dancer's sons inherited his father's profession only to ensure for the art a mediocre existence. Purity of the dance was secured only through stagnation masquerading as Tradition. Incompetence and dilettantism ensured their own survival by vulgarization whose nadir was reached a few decades ago in the Kandyan Cha-Cha. There was no doubt, patriotism and a pittance could not rescue the Sinhala dance from a sure and gradual death.

It was in this context that Chitrasena returned with his training from India. Like any other contemporary artist of Sri Lanka, Chitrasena stood where the road he travelled on seemed to fork out in two directions - the Path of Traditionalism stood counterposed with that of Innovation, Conformity with Rebellion, Nationalism with Internationalism, University with Particularity. In his own field, Chitrasena stood where Martin Wickramasingha stood in the Novel, Keyt in Painting, Sarachchandra in Drama, Lester James Pereis in the film, Amaradeva in music. Chitrasena too accepted the Challenge. The art must grow if it was to be saved from extinction. Thus Chitrasena brought dynamism to the tradition of the dance in Sri Lanka. And he had the deftness of touch and the awareness of the problems to conduct that delicate surgery which could, effect a synthesis of tradition and modernity without sacrilegious results to the art.

Ananda Samarakoon

"Samarakoon is a timeless melody", wrote Chandraratne Manavasinghe a few days after the musician's tragic death. "His music brought freshness and sweetness to our weary lives. His lyrics were an adornment to our language. Whilst taking Sinhala music towards a new vista, he gave his fans joy and happiness".

Born on 13 Jan 1911 to a Christian family, Samarakoon was baptised as George Wilfred Alwis. In 1936, Samarakoon left to Shantinikethan to study art.

Ananda Samarakoon created our national anthem. He is also the father of the artistic Sinhala music. We may also consider Samarakoon as the founder of the modern 'geeta sahitya". Certainly he was the precursor to all consequent lyricists. Manavasinghe admitted that it was Samarakoon's work that inspired him to become a lyricist. We must also note that Samarakoon was an exceptionally gifted painter.

Critics rank Samarakoon with Sunil Santha and Amaradeva as the three most influential figures in Sinhala music. Prior to Samarakoon we had nothing that can be called as original Sinhala music.
No one perhaps ever felt the need to have one, or thought it was possible to have a musical tradition of our own. In this sense we may even consider Samarakoon as our musical conscience. He studied music only as a secondary subject. In six months he abandoned his studies and returned to Sri Lanka. In 1937, he changed his name to Ananda and embraced Buddhism.

He was patently influenced by Ravindranath Tagore of India. It is his fascination and the desire to emulate the great Indian musician that took him in the direction of creating a musical tradition of our own. The vogue at the time was Nurthi Drama, with songs derived from the North Indian Ragadhari music. Lyrics of Nurthis songs were often meaningless phrases with no or little literary merit.

Samarakoon was aware of the need to create a form of a symphony that can be classified as our own. As Amaradeva described, Samarakoon succeeded in creating a new consciousness, as he had realised that the best way to touch the innermost point of sensitivity of the people and evoke response from them was to identify the music with the traditions of the land. For melodic patterns, Samarakoon turned his attention to the Sinhala folk song, a source totally ignored by all his predecessors. He also followed the Tagorean dictum that in creating a song, the musical composition and the lyrics must be of Equal importance. In fact, the lyrics and the tune should be inseparable. his intimate knowledge of the village and its landscape, its people, their culture, values and beliefs, was the source from which Samarakoon drew material for his lyrics. He was careful in his choice of the musical instruments. He also used a carefully cultivated vocal technique to give the Sinhala feeling in his renderings.

It is the immortal classic "Endada Menike" (1940) that paved the foundation for the artistic Sinhala music. The duet unfolds in the form of a dialogue between a young village boy and a girl. Its theme is love. Yet the song contains no single direct reference to love. Its child-like quality is characteristically Samarakoon at his best. "Endada Menike" is a tryst with Goddess Sarasvati. Disguised as a village maiden, Sarasvati is picking Kekatiya flowers from a brook.

On the bank is her lover (admirer), the village youth with a flute.(Samarakoon later drew a painting to illustrate the tryst). In love with the damsel, the boy is eager to join her in the frolic. She innocently dismisses his advances, teasing him that she would change form and drift away from him. Culmination of this song is her claim that she is illusive and that she would turn into a form invisible. However, the boy has the ultimate device to ensnare her and keep her in captivity. It is the sweet melody of his music from which she could never flee away. The language is poetic and beautifully rustic. Just like most of his successful compositions, in "Endada Menike" the poet and the musician are combined and are inseparable. Critics and fans were equally enthusiastic. Inspired by this success Samarakoon went on to create a string of successful songs in the early to mid 1940s, the period regarded as his golden era. Among his best known works are: "Podimal Etano", "Vilay Malak Pipila", "Poson Pohoda", "Asay madura" "Sunila Guvanay", "Punchi Suda", "nilvala Gangay", Sumano", "Pudamu Kusum", and "Siri Saru Saara Ketay".

In 1945 Samarakoon's only son died tragically at the age of five. Crushed by this grief, Samarakoon left the country. He roamed in India between 1947-1951, a period during which he probably did not compose any songs. He returned to his first love, painting and held eleven art exhibitions in India., Malaysia and Singapore. His work as a painter drew high critical acclaim. His illustration for the song "Endada Menike" drew the following remark from his contemporary Sunil Santha: "I would not venture into the task of discerning whether Samarakoon was born as a musician or a painter!"

In 1948, in his absence, one of his early compositions, "Namo Namo Mata" (composed in 1940, recorded in 1946) was nominated as the national anthem and was officially adopted by the State as the national anthem in 1952.

During the last ten years of his life (1951-1962), we witness a gradual decline in the artistry of his compositions. His association with the film industry as a lyricist and dialogue writer also did not yield any thing of substantial artistic merit. It was a fiasco in many ways.

The fame of being the creator of the national anthem became a bane. Critics were now savage on its lyrics, more particularly the "Gana" significance of the introductory words (Namo Namo Matha) which designate disease and ill luck. Samarakoon was not a believer in "Gana", and the criticism must have caused great pain to him. He wrote numerous articles counter attacking his critics in a naive and unlikely attempt to defend his composition. Without his consent, the introductory words were changed to "Sri Lanka Mathaa" so that the "Gana" significance now would designate victory and prosperity.

Samarakoon reacted strongly to this move and the manner in which it was done. Samarakoon had once vowed that he would rather sacrifice his life than allowing changes to the lyrics of his composition.

On 5 April 1962, Samarakoon committed suicide by taking an over-dose of sleeping tablets. He was fifty-one at the time of his death. Samarakoon's contribution in musical education is worthy of mention. RA Chandrasena, the man instrumental in introducing Victor Ratnayaka and Premasiri khemadasa studied music under Samarakon in early 40s. Pandit Amaradeva (W. D. Albert Perera) studied music under Samarakoon in late forties, and also worked as his understudy. Some of Amaradeva's early compositions were based on Samarakoon's lyrics.

Some early compositions of both Sunil and Amaradeva discern Samarakoon's style.

Listening to the original renderings of "Endada Menike", "Vilay malak Pipila", "podimal Etano", "Poson Pohoda" etc away from your motherland is an unique and an unforgettable experience. Samarakoon the timeless melody was also a prophet!

Transport Srevice in Sri lanka


The Sri Lanka Government Railway provides an Inter-City Express Service to and from Colombo. Special tours in restored vintage steam trains could be arranged. Contact: Fort Railway Station,

Wide network of bus services to all parts of the island. Rates are among the cheapest in the world. Contact: Central Bus Stand, Olcott Mawatha, Colombo 11.

A large number of three-wheelers operate on the roads. It is advisable to agree to a rate before commencing your journey. Make sure the driver has a clear idea of your destination.

Car Hire & Self drive Vehicles
The Ceylon Tourist Board's TIC would be pleased to help you draw up your itinerary. Most local tour agents can supply cars with drivers/self drive.
For hiring of cars Call

Inland Air Services
Many companies operate air-conditioned helicopters.

John Keells Aviation (pvt) Ltd.
# 4, Layden Bastian Rd,

ACE Airways(pvt)Ltd.
Cargills building,
#30, Sir Baron Jayatilake Mw

Lanka Air (pvt) Ltd.
104, Nawala
Colombo 5.

More than 30 airlines have their sales offices in Colombo.
Bandaranaike International Airport Tourist Information Counter of the Ceylon Tourist Board at the Airport is open 24 hours. Airport Restaurant-24 hours service. A train service is available from the Airport to the city. A regular bus service is also available to Colombo and Negombo.

Rent a Bike
Can be rented on Daily / Weekly / Monthly terms.
Please inquirer from

Gold Wing
# 346, Deans road,
Colombo 10

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Butterfly's in Sri lanka (part 5)

The Blue Oak Leaf
Endemic Butterflies in Sri Lanka
Family : Nymphalidae
Scientific Name : Kallima philarchus

Uncommon. Found in lowlands to higher hills, wherever there is heavy forest. Takes part in migrations. Flight tast and erratic. When settled the butterfly turns head down so that it resembles a withered leaf hanging from a twig. Sexes similar, but the apex of the female's forewing is more rounded.

The Ceylon Palmfly
Endemic Butterflies in Sri Lanka
Family : Satyridae
Scientific Name : Elymnias singala

Uncommon. Found in the Kandy district (500m) and other similar elevations, keeping close to cover. Flight slow and steady, settling frequently, generally with wings closed. Sexes similar.

The Gray Pansy

Butterflies in Sri Lanka
Family :
Scientific Name : Precis attlites

Common. Found in the lowlands and foothills, except in the northern province; rare above the mid hills. Prefers paddyfields in wet areas. Takes part in migrations. Flight strong, often settling on flowers. Sexes similar.

The Common Banded Peacock
Butterflies in Sri Lanka
Family :
Scientific Name : Papilio crino

Uncommon. Found in wooded areas of the lowlands to high hills, except the extreme north. Prefers the low country dry zone, rare in the hills. Takes part in migrations. Males often congregate on damp earth. Flights fast. Sexes similar, but female duller.

The Crimson Rose
Butterflies in Sri Lanka
Family :
Scientific Name : Atrophaneura hector

Common. Found in most habitats of the lowlands and foothills, more plentiful in the dry zone, and rare in the hills. Takes part in migrations. Flight leisurely, fast if disturbed; fond of flowers, especially Lantana. Sexes similar but female duller. Female mimicked by the Common Mormon.

The Common Sailor
Butterflies in Sri Lanka
Family :
Scientific Name : Neptis hylas

Uncommon. Found throughout the island, usually only seen flying at dawn and dusk. Flight fast; male often settles on damp rocks, sand and etc. Sexes similar.

Ceylon Tiger
Endemic Butterflies in Sri Lanka
Family : Danaidae
Scientific Name : Parantica taprobana

Uncommon. Found in mid to higher hills, normally in cultivation. Flight slow. Sexes similar, very variable in size.

Butterfly's in Sri lanka (part 4)

The Tailed Jay
Butterflies in Sri Lanka
Family :
Scientific Name : Graphium agamemnon

Common. Found in woodland areas throughout the island, preferring the south. Takes part in migrations. A restless flight; males fond of flowers, especially Lantana, Sexes similar, but female has a longer tail.

The Common Jezebel
Butterflies in Sri Lanka
Family :
Scientific Name : Delias eucharis

common. Found throughout the island, wherever there are trees; rare above mid hills. Flight weak, female tends to fly high; male often visits flowers, and during the dry weather settles on damp earth. Sexes similar, but female is more heavily marked.

The Lime Butterfly
Butterflies in Sri Lanka
Family :
Scientific Name : Papilio demoleus

Very Common. Found in the lowlands and foothills, rare at higher altitudes, in open areas and where citrus trees grow. Takes part in migrations. Flight fast and straight , occasionally gathering at puddles to drink. Sexes similar.

The Blue Mormon
Endemic Butterflies in Sri Lanka
Family :
Scientific Name : Papilio polymnestor

Uncommon. Found throughout the island; rare in the hills. Takes part in migrations. Frequents jungles and open woodlands, the male often visiting damp earth. Flight fast and bounding. Sexes differ; the male having no white band. Very variable in size.

Tree Nymph

Endemic Butterflies in Sri Lanka
Family : Idea iasonia
Scientific Name : Danaidae

Uncommon. Found in the lowlands to high hills, in forests near streams; rare in the north and east. Flight very slow with much gliding, Sexes similar, very variable in size and pattern.

Butterfly's in Sri lanka

The Great Eggfly
Butterflies in Sri Lanka
Family :
Scientific Name : Hypolimnas misipus

Common. Found throughout the island preferring forested areas. Takes part in migrations. The male flies faster than the female, sometimes settling in the sunshine while opening and closing his wings. Sexes differ.

The Glassy Tiger
Butterflies in Sri Lanka
Family :
Scientific Name : Danaus aglea

Common. Found at all elevations in the southern half of the island; rare in the north. Takes part in migrations. Sometimes seen resting in small numbers in the shade of the forest during the heat of the day. Flight slow and lazy. Sexes similar. Female mimicked by the Dark Wanderer. Both sexes mimicked by the Common Mime.

Ceylon Hedge Blue
Endemic Butterflies in Sri Lanka
Family : Lycaenidae
Scientific Name : Udara lanka

Uncommon. Confined to Sri Lanka only. Found near trees in the mid high hills. Flight weak and fairly low, and when settled the wings are closed. Male often settles on damp earth. Sexes similar, but female paler above with dark borders.

The Red Helen

Endemic Butterflies in Sri Lanka
Family :
Scientific Name : Papilio helenus

Uncommon. Found in the wet zone forests of the hills, Flight fast and strong. Sometimes flying above streams. Male occasionally settles on damp earth. When resting with wings open, the forewing is drawn back over the light patch of the hindwing. Sexes similar.

The Common Indian Crow

Butterflies in Sri Lanka
Family :
Scientific Name : Euploea core

Very Common. Found throughout the island in all types of country. Takes part in migrations. Flight slow and lazy, fond of settling on damp earth. Sexes similar but female has no white bar on upper forewing; she is mimicked by the female Great Eggfly, both sexes of the Common Palmfly and the Common Mime.