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  • Writer's pictureDe Kochi

Sri Lanka Frogmouth, a Rare Bird

Sri Lanka Frogmouth

The Sri Lanka frogmouth, Sri Lankan frogmouth or Ceylon frogmouth (Batrachostomus moniliger) is the rarest species of birds. The Ceylon Frogmouth are mainly found in the Western Ghats of southwest India and Sri Lanka. It is a habitat of dense tropical forest.

This birds lays egg on the fork of the tree the female cares the egg in the night and the male cares in the day. The Ceylon Frogmouth is 23 cm long. It has a huge frog like gape, and a large flattened hooked bill and large head.

Ceylon Frogmouth (Makkachikkada)

Ceylon Frogmouth

The female is mainly white in color with less spots and male is grey in color and heavily spotted. The Ceylon Frogmouth rests on the high branches in day time and camouflaged by its cryptic plumage and appears like broken branch.

At night it hunts insects by its huge gape. The bird can be discovered easily at night by its song, which is loud, crackly and resembles frog cry. Their flight appears weak but capable of flying quietly under the forest canopy.

Ceylon Frogmouth Sri Lanka Frogmouth Thattekkad Kerala Birds Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary

Ceylon Frogmouth – Male and Female

Sri Lankan Frogmouth at Thattekad

Dr.Salim Ali found Sri Lankan Frogmouth at Thattekad Bird Santuary and sanctuary is named Salim Ali Bird Santuary after his invention in 1930. This particular bird is rediscovered in 1990 by Dr.Sugathan the ornithologist and disciple of Dr.Salim Ali from the same sanctuary.

The scientific name of the species is Batrachostomus Moniliger. The three podargus species are large frogmouths restricted to Australia and New Guinea, and have massive flat broad bills. They are known to take larger prey such as small vertebrates (frogs, mice, etc.), which are sometimes beaten against a stone before swallowing.

Both Podargus and Batrachostomus have bristles around the base of the bill, and Batrachostomus has other, longer bristles which may exist to protect the eyes from insect prey.

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