Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hisa sudu Sharikava - Sri Lanka White-Faced Starling (Sturnus senex)


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. 


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.


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.


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