Category Archives: Birds of Sri Lanka

White-browed Fantail flying over a fountain

Weißstirn-FächerschwanzThe White-browed Fantail (Rhipidura aureola) is aiming for its future “bathtub” in low flight. A little later, the drops will splash for several meters. The White-browed Fantail had already bathed extensively in the shallow fountain a few minutes before. The feathers are soaked with water. The White-browed Fantail is obviously not afraid of water. Proper cooling is also important in the south of Sri Lanka. Birds should also try to keep a cool head and, on the occasion, get-riff of roommates living on their feathers. First the White-browed Fantail comes on the ceramic rim, secures and sips from the water in the bowl. The cool water feels good. Then the bird stands in the middle of the flat pool area. The water goes up to the belly of the standing bird. Then it’s time to plunge ist head, fling the water in a rotary motion and wait until the water drops come down again. Then fly up again with your wet feathers on ist stomach and spread the water drops in the area. Done!

For birds, cleaning and maintaining the plumage is an important hygiene measure and necessary preventive health care. The white-browed fantail, for example, uses extensive water and dust baths to rid its more than 1000 feathers of parasites such as ticks, mites and fleas. He whirls the water around. With a little luck, you might even Continue reading White-browed Fantail flying over a fountain

Oriental Skylark versus Eurasian Skylark

Kleine FeldlercheThe Oriental Skylark (Alauda gulgula) is basically an “eastern” species.  Nonetheless, the species is a local migrant and winter visitor in Israel. The best places to observe them are the are alfalfa and lucerne fields in the valleys. During migration periods, these larks are regularly seen along the Mediterranean coast. The Lesser Skylark is often seen in small groups of about 3-5 birds, but sometimes in larger concentrations in winter. It is therefore quite possible that the Oriental Skylark will be encountered at some point in Western Europe. Therefore it is good to have the most important characteristics for species identification ready – especially in differentiation to the Eurasian Skylark.

Many observers familiar with the Lesser Skylark explain how strikingly different the structure of the Lesser Skylark is from its close relative, the Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis). Of course, the species is most likely to be confused with the Eurasian Skylark, especially with the smaller subspecies. However, when visibility is good, the attentive observer should not perceive the separation of the species as a serious problem.

A trip to Sri Lanka gave the chance to observe and photograph several individuials of the nominate subspecies gulgula in Bundala Nationalpark in southern Sri Lanka. Alauda gulgula gulgula is spread as a breeding bird over almost the whole India subcontinent, from Continue reading Oriental Skylark versus Eurasian Skylark