SUBJECT :The sighting of a rare bird species in the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary has sparked much interest among ornithologists since its presence was noticed on the eastern side of the Western Ghats for the first time. 

Sri Lankan Frogmouth is usually found on the western side of the Western Ghats

Author:  Giji K. Raman

Kerala, November 19, 2018: The sighting of a rare bird species in the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary has sparked much interest among ornithologists since its presence was noticed on the eastern side of the Western Ghats for the first time.

The Sri Lankan Frogmouth, belonging to the Batrachostomus moniliger species, which was sighted at the sanctuary, is usually confined to its habitation in the western side of the Western Ghats forests.

It is a relative of Nightjar, a crepuscular and nocturnal bird breeding in Europe and temperate Asia.

Its preferred habitat is a dry and open area with some small trees or bushes.

A few ornithologists, who were on a trekking trip, accidentally noticed the bird’s presence in the forest. Initially, they thought it was Nightjar, but a closer scrutiny confirmed it to be the Sri Lankan Frogmouth, said Assistant Wildlife Warden P.M. Prabhu.

Only one egg a year

The first one was noticed by ornithologist and Thattekkad resident Vimal, while he was trekking with another person, Vijayan. The second sighting was near the Chinnar river. The bird, like the Nightjar, eats insects and mainly seeks prey during night time.

The main feature is that it lays only one egg a year after the mating season in April-May. The nest is made using moss or leaves of soft plants and the bark of the trees. The male bird destroys the nest and flies away with the new born bird.

Ornithologists say that the bird has a unique habitat in Sri Lanka and is also believed to be present in the Thattekad bird sanctuary. It is also found in Karnataka, Goa, and Maharashtra.

At Thattekad in 1976

It was believed that the species had gone extinct in the State after its presence was not noticed for a long period. Ornithologist Sugathan had found it at Thattekad in 1976. The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is on a project to study its habitat and make a favourable environment for it.

The Sri Lankan Frogmouth usually rests on small tree branches during daytime. Because of its silent presence, it is hardly noticed.


Source: thehindu.com