Monday, 26 July 2010

Sri Lanka Frogmouth

Here is a pair of Sri Lanka Frogmouths huddled together at a daytime roost. The male is looking at the camera, and the female is the more tawny coloured bird next to it. I photographed them at the Sinharaja 'world heritage' rain forest, when I guided Dave Thrussel and Chris Holtby from the UK, in March, 2010. I reached a personal milestone on this tour in showing twelve out of the fifteen resident night birds found in Sri Lanka—a record I equalled in April, 2010, guiding Gil Ewing from CA, USA. In the latter, I showed the identical mix of species as in March. Before these two tours, my previous best tally of night birds shown in a single tour was ten, and it was recorded in a serious birding tour done in February, 2009, with two British birders.


Janith said...

Nice. I like his eyelashes! :D

Monique et Daniel said...

Never seen such a frogmouth bird!
Very nice picture, probably difficult to snap.

Stuart Price said...

A 'serious' birding tour!!!!! Better not make any jokes about that then.........

I saw Frogmouths in Australia once, what a weird looking bird......

Dee said...

i lovee owls! Nice camouflage!

Amila Suwa said...

Hi Chavie,
Yes, they are lovely, arn't they?

Hi Monique and Daniel,
Yes, their roosts are almost always poorly lit, and I had to bump up the ISO to shoot this.

Hi Stu,

The Frogmouth seems an ornithological joke, don't you think?

Hi Dee,
Thanks! SF is a master of disguise, and is quite difficult to spot at daytime roosts.

Kirigalpoththa said...

Such a peculiar bird! It must be very difficult to see them among those dry leaves.

Amila Kanchana said...

Way to go Amila!

Vicente B said...

such interesant animal life. I really like the entrys of elephants. Very good job.

Amila Suwa said...

Hi K,
Indeed it takes sharp eyes to spot it in day roosts.

Hi Amila,
Thank you!

Hi Vicente B,
Thanks! Good to hear from you.

Sunita Mohan said...

Poor bird! If I had such an ugly face I'd be trying to blend into the background too!
But don't you get the feeling that he's going to open that froggie mouth, shoot out his tongue and snap up a fly?

Amila Suwa said...

Hi Sunita,
You've made me want to see your face now. :)

Andy yes, he would do so when foraging.

I bet your boys enjoyed Sachin's double ton.

magerata said...

Congrats on your records! or bagging as you taught me. This bird is most intriguing to me and wonder how nature made this bird. I can think of camouflage (and I might walk right by it and not notice it because of it is not much different from dry leaves) but why? Thank you for the ever flowing information.

Amila Suwa said...

Thanks Magerata!
Such cryptic colouration is called protective resemblance, and it has evolved in species subjected to pressures of predation.

A (day) roosting a bird usually spends a long time in one spot. During this, a night bird like a frogmouth can be fall prey to diurnal predators, if it doesn't blend into the surrundings.

SL Frogmouth builds its nest in an open branch, usually covered in lichens. In the frogmouth domestic affairs, the male exclusively takes care of incubation of the egg and protecting of the young—a combination of activities known as brooding—during the daytime, while the female just chills in a hideout not too far. Poor male!

I am sure you will agree that, in this bird, the male looks more crptic than the female. I think the lichen-like white patches in the plumage of the male further help it to take after the branch on which the nest is nestled.

Hope this helps!

Kathie Brown said...

Gallicissa, hello! What a cute, funny, ugly bird! What an amazing face!

Amila Suwa said...

Good to hear from you, Kathie!
Haha...yes, it is just one of those birds!

magerata said...

Thanks again for the info. You are too kind.

flowergirl said...

Amila, long time no hear!

Guess what, I finally saw a pair of frogmouths! And I am so thrilled! I dont have any good photos, but it was an amazing view through the binos!

Have written about it, and linked this post for the picture.

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