Monday, June 17, 2013

Asian Palm Swift (Cypsiurus balasiensis)

Common breeding resident in low country and lower hills especially where palm trees such as Palmyras or Talipots are available.  It keeps in flocks and spends its time flitting about in open areas in search for small flying insects. It breeds probably year round and the nest is a small cup of feathers and cotton, glued with its saliva under fan-palm leaf or occasionally the fronds of the Areca or Betetnut palm (Only if no fan-palm is available). 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cingalese Bushbrown (Mycalesis rama)

An endemic and rare butterfly occurs in forested areas with bamboo in the low country wet zone.  The larva is believed to be feed on Bamboo/Bata (Ochlandra stridula)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus)

An uncommon breeding raptor in open areas, grasslands paddy fields and Patana lands in dry lowlands and hills.  Occasional visitor to the wet lowlands. It encounters mostly as solitary birds or in pairs. It has a habit of hovering frequently when hunting on grasshoppers, lizards, rats and young birds in open country.  The breeding season is from December to March and sometime again from July to October. The nest – untidy mass of sticks – is placed at top of a tree in fairly open area.  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

කොහා[Koha]/Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus)

Common breeding resident in home gardens, cultivation and other wooded areas avoiding dense forests from lowlands to mid hills.  It feeds almost entirely on fruits including berries of some ornamental garden plants.  Mating call of male bird can be heard frequently during Sinhala new year season which happen to be start of its breeding season which last from April to August. It is a parasitic bird and  female bird lays eggs mainly on two species of crows (Jungle Crow and House Crow) and sometime of babblers nests.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Oriental Skylark (Alauda gulgula)

Locally common breeding resident, inhabiting grasslands, dry paddy fields and open country mainly in dry zone lowlands. Visits wet zone and breeds rarely in the hills.  It lives on ground in pairs or as small flocks and never perching on trees but on low stumps, stone walls etc. It feeds on insects like grasshoppers and also seeds of grasses and weeds.  The small crest on fore crown, which normally down and erects when excited can be used to distinguished Oriental skylark from bit similar but stockier and browner Jerdon’s Bushlark.  The breeding season is from March to July and it lays 1-3 eggs in a nest made out of grass and fibers in a small hollow on ground usually under a small tuft of grass or shrub.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Brown Hawk Owl (Ninox scutulata)

Common breeding resident distributed throughout the country in forests, cultivation and wooded areas of cities and villages while becoming uncommon in higher hills. Sights of Brown Hawk Owls sitting on lamp or telephone posts, TV antennas during nights are not uncommon in most urban and suburban areas with some trees even in and around Colombo. Brown Hawk Owl can be easily identified by its distinctive loud call which sounds like koo-ook, koo-ook heard especially on moonlit nights. It is a nocturnal bird and feeds on insects takes on the wing.  The breeding season is from March to April and again in November. It lays 2-3 eggs in a tree cavity.