Endemic birds
Endemic bird

The Brown-Capped Babbler Pellorneum Fuscocapillus


Sinhalese - Parandel Kurulla, Dumburu Demalichcha

Ceylon Hill White-eye

This is a bird, larger than a House Sparrow, distinguished by its deep grey-brown upper parts and rusty-orange lower parts. It has a distinctive dark brown cap.

It is bird of forest, well-wooded country and thick undergrowth. It is distributed throughout the island except the extremely dry Northern and South-eastern regions, the dry zone race babaulti being paler overall and greyer on the upperparts. The deeper coloured races fuscocapillus and scortillum occur in the wet zone and wet hill zone.

It is a skulking bird but its distinctive call, well likened to the words ‘pretty-dear’, makes it easy to locate. It usually occurs in pairs, searching the undergrowth rustling amongst dry dead leaves or low canopy for its food which consists mainly of insects, worms etc. It has a   sustained low intensity song which it utters when agitated as well as a ‘crr  crr’ alarm call.

This bird has a unique habit of walking as well as hopping when looking for food –it is the only Sri Lankan Babbler which walks.

The nest is an outwardly untidy dome of dead leaves etc. but is neat inside. It is placed on the ground concealed in undergrowth at the foot of a tree or such similar location. Two eggs form the usual clutch and they are whitish blotched with brown. The breeding season is in the early part of the year.

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