Saturday, April 16, 2011

Green's in this season...

Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala)

This pretty bird was captured in the National Zoological Gardens of Sri lanka in Dehiwala. The head closely mimicked a deliciously ripened plum with the dark magenta of the brow gradually turning to purple towards its neck. It makes me wonder what kind of an evolutionary advantage will it serve if this poor guy managed to survive without being eaten by a hungry monkey, head first !

Well, as we all know this being a male my guess is it’s nothing but plumes of vanity to attract unsuspecting females !

Plum headed Parakeet is a resident breeder in Sri Lanka and is said to be endemic to Indian sub continent. The most striking feature is the multitude of noicy calls including "oink" : )

Brown-headed Barbet or Large Green Barbet (Megalaima zeylanica)

This funny looking fellow was captured in a home garden in Panadura. Although I thought this bird to be shy, it was quite comfortable in my presence and was scanning the surrounding on an electric wire with a Rasakinda (Tinospora Cordifolia) vine entangled on it. It was bearing clusters of red, ripe berries and I was told that it frequented the place to feed on the berries.

The naked yellowish skin around the eyes and the “whiskers” around the large beak made it look as if dressed to be the clown among birds. It is a resident breeder in Sri Lanka, feeding on fruits and insects. The eggs are laid in a hollow of a tree. The gender of my specimen remains a mystery which I hope will be solved soon :)

Golden-fronted Leafbird (Chloropsis aurifrons)

This bird was captured in a hillock overgrown with shrubs in Kurunegala. I was taking a hike around seven in the morning when a peculiar call drew my attention to the nearby thicket. At first it wasn’t easy to spot the source as this fellow merged with its surroundings so well, staying true to its name. But the persistent striking call and the brilliant yellow brow gave away the perfect camouflage.

Golden fronted leaf-bird is a resident breeder in Sri Lanka, feeding on insects and berries. It nests in trees laying 2-3 eggs at a time. Would anyone be able to say if this is a male or a female?


  1. Hi Patali
    I may try to solve male-female problem relating to above three birds:)
    Plum-headed Parakeet - As you correctly identified it is a male you have captured in National zoological garden (Rather unusual place for such a beautiful capture without any man-made disturbances.(Y)) which can be easily distinguished by it attractive plum color head and maroon patch on shoulder. It is blue-grey head and small shoulder patch when it comes to female. Also female has a yellow collar which male lack. Is it only plume head of male which attracted females? I doubt it;)

    Brown-headed Barbet - Both male and female are alike and impossible of distinguishing male-female just by colors.

    Golden-fronted Leafbird - I am totally confused by following these guide books on that matter. According to most of them sexes nearly alike and only juveniles lack the orange forehead and black throat patch(Henry, Grimmett & Inskipps) But according to the some other authorities female has slightly smaller face and throat patch or reduced markings(Harrison, Kazmierczak, Gehan de silva wijerathne) while female is depicted with almost juvenile like picture in Dr Kotagama's recent bird guide.

  2. all beautiful; i surfed across from Friderike's blog; much love...

  3. Hi Patali,Excellent captures these beauties!

  4. Bushana; thanks for the comprehensive the gender remains unknown for the latter two i presume :)

    Gillena and Amila; thanks for the nice comments

  5. Thank for this beautiful collection of pretty birds. They look all so very nice (up here, there are rather few green birds...)

  6. It is not always easy to capture good photos of birds especially in the wild, the photos are interesting.

  7. Great shot of the leaf bird. They are notoriously hard to capture.

  8. Going green ha? Lovely captures!

    (saththunta katha karana rahasa hoyagena wage

  9. Thanks everyone for the comments !

  10. Sexes are alike in the Brown-headed Barbet.
    So for birds like that, if you want to separate sexes, see which one is more whiny. The male is usually the other one. :D

    On a more serious note, the sexes of the Leafbird in question too are almost alike. The only difference is the orange forehead patch of the male is brighter and more extensive, whereas in the female, it is duller and less extensive.

    Your leafbird appears a male to me.

  11. Patali, the pink halo in my ladybug picture was created by the photo application of my iphone (the app is called Hipstamatic and offers options to give pictures a "retro look")

  12. Thanks both of you for the nice comments !

    Thats cool Frieda, to do so much with your phone !