Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Indian Pitta - Pitta brachyura, Doctors quarters, BH, Avissawella, Sri Lanka, Dr. Eranga Perera.

This photo was taken by Dr. Eranga Perera, Consultant Surgeon, Base Hospital, Avissawella. The bird was in the back-garden of his quarters. The cry of this bird resembles like saying 'maatch kiyang'. The villagers in Sri Lanka have a story as follows:-
The 'Avichchiya' as the bird is called in Sinhalese, was the most beautiful bird in creation. The Pea-cock was literally naked and ugly. The Pea-cock wanted to go for a party of the birds and borrowed the beautiful feathers of the' Avichcha', who was  rather shy and avoided parties.The Pea-cock never returned the feathers. The now rather naked  'Avichchiya' is in hiding, but keeps shouting 'maath kiyang' meaning in Sinhalese, 'I will take you before the judges'.
It is a rather beautiful bird but very shy. We are alerted to its presence by its call early in the morning, when it raids the kitchen refuse, in the back garden.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

White-throated Kingfisher - Halcyon smyrnensis, home garden, Avissawella, Sri Lanka.

After laying its eggs in a hole in the wall of an embankment, the parents would be constantly on the watch for predators. I have seen them pecking at the head of a much larger ''Monitor Lizard' when the latter went close to the eggs. The parents feed the young ones till they are fit to fly. After about a week of flying they part ways. Even though it is called  a King-fisher this type exists by eating moths, dragonflies, grasshoppers etc.