Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Basking Babbler

Demalichcha /Yellow Billed Babbler (Turdoides affinis taprobanus) is a common resident bird mostly seen in home gardens and also in many other habitats but usually avoiding deep wet forest. It frequents in flocks thus the name "seven sisters". They make a huge racket of loud calls, quills and other noices when foraging for food and sometimes quarrelling with a rival group.

Demalichcha is one of the most frequent visitors to my home garden located in a costal town. They usually arrive around eight in the morning in a flock of about 15 - 20 birds. I can never ignore them even if I wanted to, because they make sure I am woken up from my Sunday morning slumber. One curious observation I have made is that there are many other kinds of birds that accompany this flock such as the Woodpecker, Brown headed barbet, Kingfisher and Black hooded oriole. They move along with the Babbler flock from one garden to another (till an irritable dog decides to break the happy gathering). Could anyone explain this phenomenon ?


  1. what a acrobatic pose of first one!!
    And good observations of you too (Y)
    They might have some sort of 'feeding flocks' even in your area though in small scale, not like 'well advance' flocks of Sinharaja and other forested areas
    Visit my blog for some details on this babbler -http://biodiversityofsrilanka.blogspot.com/2011/04/yellow-billed-babblerdemalichchaseven.html

  2. It is a heaven to have so many lovely birds around…

  3. Those birds of a different feather (joined also by the Common Palm Squirrel) flock together to increase foraging efficiency and to reduce the risk of predation by having more eyes to scan threats and profiting from safety in numbers.

  4. Hi everyone, Thanks for the comments !

    @Bushana; Hope our cat doesn't have any plans to join in with the feeding flock :)

    Thanks for the description

    Yeah, you are so right ! there is a couple of palm squirrels who join this feathered club. They even fight with the babblers for the scraps from the dog's dinner. The babbler usually win with their nasty bills.

  5. Wow.. awesome pics. The 1st is a very uncommon pose. And yeah, great observations too. We get a whole bunch of babblers along with mynahs and sometimes parrots. They all talk at the top of their voices.. so dunno if it's friendly talks or territorial disputes. =D

    And I didn't know who barbet was until I googled it. I've seen it here too and I thought it was a cousin of king fisher. =D

  6. That’s one nice pose for sure :D. We get the same flock here with extra polkichcha’s and kawuda’s too.

    Great captures as always and I like the lighting too! It looks so much pleasant in the eye!

  7. Incredible, how did you take the first picture?
    It is simply amazing...you seem to have been so close to the bird :)

  8. Thanks everyone for the lovely comments!

    @Frieda; I was not that close. It was my zoom lens that did the trick :)