Monday, January 24, 2011

Early bird

Captured in Kurunegala, this Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti) was seen perched in this tree for about an hour occasionally taking off to catch flying insects in mid air. It seemed to prefer this tree at the border of a small thicket which was facing a bare land with small shrubs. This preference maybe because such a location allows easier catching of its desired prey.

About 17 cm in length,it is known locally as the "kurumini kurulla" or "thalamba his binguharaya" and is a common resident bird seen in all parts of the island with preference to the wet zone. They are known to lay eggs in burrows which I thought to be quite a peculiar behaviour for a bird.


  1. Wonderful capture!

    Gorgeous colors and a great composition too!

    I know they call it “kurumini kurulla” but any idea why they call it “thalaba his biguharaya”??? Is there any thalaba his nathi biguharaya too? :D

  2. That's a wonderful picture. The bird is very pretty.
    And thank you for the information about the bird.

  3. The bird is so colorful; it is having a deep thought, maybe a colorful one too.

  4. Thanks everyone for visiting and leaving comments !

    @Anjana; thalaba his binguharaya was a term adopted from prof. Kotagama's book on birds of Sri Lanka. yeah, there are other types of binguharayas mostly named after their colour pattern.

    @Matthew; welcome to my blog !

  5. Thanks for the info Patali.

    I need to buy the book of prof.Kotagama :)

  6. About four years ago, I was thrilled to discover a "relic population" of Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters, while birding at a local patch, just a 700m as a bee-eater flies from my place! And it was later found nesting. I believe this is the closest location to Colombo where this bird is found.