Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wildlife Sightings - 20/11/13 - 30/11/13

Jetwing Eco Holidays Naturalist guide, Supun Hettiarachchi observed the below main sightings on his last tour.

Collared Dove at Bundala
Serendib Scops Owl & Frog Mouth Owl at Sinharaja Rainforest

The Serendib Scops-owl is an endemic bird of Sri Lanka.
This owl was not seen until 2001 and was described to science only in 2004. Reddish-hued plumage and a soft single-note call helps prevent confusion with other scops-owls. The male has orangish irides; the female's are yellowish. The overall reddish brown and apparent lack of ear tufts help separate it from the other two scops owls. Owls can move the feather tracts on their head to resemble ear tufts which mimic a broken stump. At times the Serendib Scops Owl has been observed with year tufts which have been formed by shaping feathers on its head. It is restricted to a few lowland rainforest areas such as Sinharaja, Morapitiya and Kithulgala where it is generally seen at the disturbed forest edge, often near the ground. Its weak legs and toes may be an adaptation to be able to perch on the vertical stems of plants found at disturbed forest edges. It is insectivorous. The birds seem to form into pair which maintain a territory throughout the year. The call is a soft phew. 

Bird description from "The Endemic Birds of Sri Lanka" by Gehan de Silva Wijeyrathne