Ashoka Jayarathna1,2, Ravimal Pathiraja1,2, and Eben Goodale1 - CBCN February 2010 pages 51,52

1Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka, Department of Zoology, Univer­sity of Colombo, Colombo 3. 2 Department of Zoology, Open University, Nawala. Submitted by E.B.

In 2008, while conducting a research project on the effect of land-use and elevation on birds of the wet zone, we visited the Bambarabotuwa Forest Reserve (N 06º 40', E 080º 37') adjacent to the Samanellawatta Tea Estate, east of Balangoda (c. 880 m). 

Whistling Thrush - Kithsiri Gunawardena A male Ceylon Whistling Thrush was seen on 7 July in a small (4 m) Beraliya tree Shorea affinis by the stream that runs alongside the forest. It flew into it and stayed near its top, and we observed that it was sitting in a nest. The next day we observed the male again in the nest, and then we saw its place being taken by a female. When she left, we observed that there were two eggs inside, using a mirror to minimize disturbance. One was pure white, while the other appeared to have light brown dots on the white background.

On 27 July on a second visit to the forest at c. 08:45 we observed the female inside the nest. At c. 10:15, when she left, we checked with the mirror to see that one of the eggs had just hatched, with the chick fully visible, and the second egg was just hatching, with the chick still inside half of the shell. A little later in the day we observed the female remove half of an eggshell, 2.1 cm in diameter halfway along its height.

A third visit to the forest in the late afternoon of 10 August found the two birds taking turns to visit the nest with food. The following morning we found there was only one chick in the nest, with fairly well grown black feathers and a bluish patch visible on the wing. On 17 August the nest was found to be empty, and to be a nearly perfect circle c. 48 cm in diameter. It was covered with moss on the outside and lined with thin root-hairs on the inside.

These observations are in line with some of the previous observations of nesting in this species, particularly the detailed observations of Wait (1984), who described nests placed in forks of trees as well as those on rock ledges or crevices (Grimmett et al. 1999). The timing of the breed­ing is a bit anomalous, as most recordings have been between January and May, or September (Henry 1971; Rasmussen and Anderton 2005).


Grimmett, R., Inskipp, C. and Inskipp, T. 1999. A Guide to the Birds of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Prince-ton: Princeton University Press.

Henry, G.M. 1971. A Guide to the Birds of Ceylon, 2nd edn. London: Oxford University Press.

Rasmussen, P.C. and Anderton, J.C. 2005. Birds of South Asia: the Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Editions.

Wait, W. E. 1984. Manual of the Birds of Ceylon, 2nd edn. Delhi, India: Soni Reprints Agency.

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