Sunday, December 9, 2012

Dumbonna/Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis)


Indian Roller is a common breeding resident in dry lowlands up to lower hills, while uncommon and local in wet lowlands. It is common mostly in coconut plantations, chena cultivation and such open areas, usually as solitary birds or in pairs. It is known as Dumbonna among Sinhalese people meaning Smoke-drinker since it has a habit of flying over the grass and shrub fires usually when burning jungles for chena cultivation to catch grasshoppers, beetles and other flying insects disturbed by the fire. Indian Roller spend much of its time sitting on a telegraph wires, fence posts or any such vantage points and flying down to catch its prey, which consists of grasshoppers, beetles, lizards and such little animals. It breeds from January to June laying 2-4 white eggs in a tree hole of a dead tree or in a rotten palm trunk. 

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