Drongos, Starlings, Mynas and Magpie

Black Drongo-3
Black Drongo-3

Photographed in Vankalai Sanctuary, Mannar.

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Black Drongo-1
Black Drongo-1

Photographed in Vankalai Sanctuary, Mannar.

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Black Drongo-7
Black Drongo-7

Photographed in the outskirts of Jaffna.

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Black Drongo-3
Black Drongo-3

Photographed in Vankalai Sanctuary, Mannar.

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Black Drongo
(කලු කවුඩා)
Edolius macrocercus

The famous Black Drongos from the northern part of the country were photographed both in Mannar and in Jaffna. They are a fearless bird and on one occasion, I saw one attack a Brahminy kite and chasing it away. The white spot on the base of the beak is what is used to identify them. The 1st year juveniles have a few white fringes on the belly.

 
Grey Drongo-1
Grey Drongo-1

Photographed in Giants Tank area.

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Grey Drongo-2
Grey Drongo-2

Photographed in Giants Tank area.

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Grey Drongo-1
Grey Drongo-1

Photographed in Giants Tank area.

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Grey Drongo
(අලු කවුඩා)
Edolius leucophaeus

Based on the deeply forked tail, a brighter crimson eye and as there is no white mark at the base of the beak, I believe this is a Grey Drongo. The colour of the feathers also seems a bit lighter than the Black Frongo.

 

I wish I took more pictures when I came across one in Yoda Wewa, Mannar to identify beyond doubt. 

Doubtful identification
 
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Greater Racket-tailed Drongo / Racket-tailed Drongo (මහ කවුඩා)
Dicrurus paradiseus

Yet to capture image

 
Sri Lanka Crested Drongo-1
Sri Lanka Crested Drongo-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Forest Reserve.

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Sri Lanka Crested Drongo-2
Sri Lanka Crested Drongo-2

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Forest Reserve.

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Sri Lanka Crested Drongo-6
Sri Lanka Crested Drongo-6

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Forest Reserve.

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Sri Lanka Crested Drongo-1
Sri Lanka Crested Drongo-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Forest Reserve.

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Sri Lanka Crested Drongo / Ceylon Crested Drongo
Dicrurus lophorinus

The endemic gangster of the rain forest, he leads the rally call for creating the famous bird flocks of the rain forest. Being one of the bravest of the birds, the other species rally to their call and they lead the pack through the forest. He is able to mimic lots of bird and animal calls making him unique in the bird world.

 

Seen and photographed at Sinharaja rain forest and in low light inside the thick canopy.

 
White-bellied Drongo-1
White-bellied Drongo-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Bodhinagala Forest Reserve.

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White-bellied Drongo-13
White-bellied Drongo-13

Photographed in the outskirts of Baththaramulla.

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White-bellied Drongo-15
White-bellied Drongo-15

Photographed in the outskirts of Kegalle.

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White-bellied Drongo-1
White-bellied Drongo-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Bodhinagala Forest Reserve.

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White-bellied Drongo
(කවුඩා)
Edolius caerulescens

A common urban resident, these superb vocalists can be seen even in the heart of the city. 

3rd and 4th images from Rathnapura. Image 5 and 6 are from Thalawathugoda. Images 7 to 13 are from Thalangama where a pair of them were raising a family and incubating eggs. They were very protective of the nest and chased away any birds who dared to stray close. Such remarkable birds.

 
Sri Lanka Blue Magpie-6
Sri Lanka Blue Magpie-6

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Sri Lanka Blue Magpie-1
Sri Lanka Blue Magpie-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Forest Reserve.

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Sri Lanka Blue Magpie-11
Sri Lanka Blue Magpie-11

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Forest Reserve.

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Sri Lanka Blue Magpie-6
Sri Lanka Blue Magpie-6

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Rain Forest.

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Sri Lanka Blue Magpie / Ceylon Blue Magpie
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා කැහිබෙල්ලා)
Urocissa ornata

These natives are perhaps the most famous indigenous birds of Sri Lanka. Related to the crow family, they are known to be super mischievous. The first pair was photographed at the entrance to the Sinharaja rain forest.

From image 5 onwards, it's from a subsequent trip again to Sinharaja. What a beautiful bird and in my view nicely captures the beauty of my island. 

 
Brahminy Starling-1
Brahminy Starling-1

Photographed with my point-and-shoot camera inside the Yala National Park.

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Brahminy Starling-1
Brahminy Starling-1

Photographed with my point-and-shoot camera inside the Yala National Park.

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Brahminy Starling / Brahminy Myna
(බමුණු ශරිකාවා)
Sturnia pagodarum

Seen at Yala National Park and photographed with my point-and-shoot. We were very fortunate to find a pair but stupid drivers at Yala thought we are looking at a Leopard and drove in very fast. The birds flew away. Moron drivers.

 
Rosy Starling-7
Rosy Starling-7

Photographed inside the Chundikulam National Park.

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Rosy Starling-1
Rosy Starling-1

Photographed in Giants Tank area.

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Rosy Starling-6
Rosy Starling-6

Photographed in Vankalai Sanctuary, Mannar.

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Rosy Starling-7
Rosy Starling-7

Photographed inside the Chundikulam National Park.

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Rosy Starling
(රෝස ශරිකාවා)
Pastor roseus

An irregular winter visitor, I came across them first in Mannar in 2018 but couldn't take decent photographs. Then in January 2019, I came across them in large numbers both in Mannar and in Jaffna.

These social, loud yet graceful birds were down in large numbers forming large flocks of thousands in the evening. Came across a large flock taking a bath in Vankalai which was a superb sight. 

irregular-winter-visitor.png
 
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Chestnut-tailed Starling / Grey-headed Starling (තම්බල පෙඳ ශරිකාවා)
Sturnia malabarica

Yet to capture image

irregular-winter-visitor.png
 
White-faced Starling-1
White-faced Starling-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Forest Reserve.

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White-faced Starling-2
White-faced Starling-2

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Forest Reserve.

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White-faced Starling-1
White-faced Starling-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Sinharaja Forest Reserve.

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White-faced Starling / Ceylon White-headed Starling (ශ්‍රි ලංකා වතසුදු ශරිකාවා)
Sturnornus albofrontatus

Extremely rare and endemic, this bird is only seen at Sinharaja rain forest. The photograph was taken from a far distance and is a bit blurred. There were a couple of them but I had no way of getting closer. I suppose it sums up the rarity and how special this bird is. Hopefully, I will come across them again in my future excursions in to Sinharaja.

 
Sri Lanka Myna-1
Sri Lanka Myna-1

Photographed on the outskirts of Sinharaja rain forest.

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Sri Lanka Myna-2
Sri Lanka Myna-2

Photographed on the outskirts of Sinharaja rain forest.

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Sri Lanka Myna-4
Sri Lanka Myna-4

Photographed on the outskirts of Sinharaja rain forest.

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Sri Lanka Myna-1
Sri Lanka Myna-1

Photographed on the outskirts of Sinharaja rain forest.

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Sri Lanka Myna / Ceylon Hill Myna
(ශ්‍රි ලංකා සැළලිහිණියා)
Gracula ptilogenys

This beautiful endemic bird had a nest in the tree trunk and probably had little ones in it. The parents made frequent visits to the nest. I wish I spent more time and got better pictures.

 
Lesser Hill Myna-1
Lesser Hill Myna-1

Photographed inside the birds enclosure at Dehiwala Zoo.

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Lesser Hill Myna-1
Lesser Hill Myna-1

Photographed inside the birds enclosure at Dehiwala Zoo.

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Lesser Hill Myna / Common Hill Myna
(සැළලිහිණියා)
Gracula indica

This beautiful bird was photographed inside the bird’s enclosure inside the Dehiwala zoo. Once a common site, they are increasingly rare to spot in the countryside. I came across a whole gang of them in Ella but they were too high up in the tree canopy I couldn’t get any good shots.

 
Common Myna-2
Common Myna-2

Photographed in the outskirts of Colombo.

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Common Myna-1
Common Myna-1

Photographed in the outskirts of Colombo.

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Common Myna-3
Common Myna-3

A nest made inside a hollow tree near Thalangama lake.

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Common Myna-2
Common Myna-2

Photographed in the outskirts of Colombo.

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Common Myna
(මයිනා)
Acridotheres tristis

Seen at MillenniumIT campus grounds. A very common bird in urban areas as they have adapted superbly to living among human dwellings.

 
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Purple-backed Starling / Daurian Starling
(දම්පිට ශරිකවා)
Agropsar sturninus

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Vagrant species
 
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Black-headed Bunting
(කලු හිස බුන්ටියා)
Emberiza melanocephala

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Vagrant species
 
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Red-headed Bunting
(රතු හිස බුන්ටියා)
Emberiza bruniceps

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Vagrant species
 
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Grey-necked Bunting
Emberiza buchanani

Yet to capture image

Vagrant species