The Crested Serpent Eagle is a medium-sized bird of prey that is found in forested habitats across tropical Asia. They fly over the forest canopy on broad wings and tail have wide white and black bars. They call often with a loud, piercing and familiar three or two-note call. They often feed on snakes, giving them their name.
This medium-large, dark brown eagle is stocky, with rounded wings and a short tail. Its short black and white fan-shaped nuchal crest gives it a thick-necked appearance. The bare facial skin and feet are yellow. The underside is spotted with white and yellowish-brown. When perched the wing tips do not reach until the tail tip. In soaring flight, the broad and paddle-shaped wings are held in a shallow V. The tail and underside of the flight feathers are black with broad white bars. Young birds show a lot of white on the head. The tarsus is un-feathered and covered by hexagonal scales. The upper mandible does not have an overhanging festoon to the tip.
The Grey junglefowl, also known as Sonnerat's junglefowl, is one of the wild ancestors of domestic fowl together with the red junglefowl and other junglefowls. The Grey junglefowl is responsible for the yellow pigment in the legs and different body parts of all the domesticated chicken.
This species is endemic to India, and even today it is found mainly in peninsular India and towards the northern boundary. It sometimes hybridize in the wild with red junglefowl. They also hybridize readily in captivity and sometimes with free-range domestic fowl kept in habitations close to forests.
The male has a black cape with ochre spots and the body plumage on a grey ground colour is finely patterned. The elongated neck feathers are dark and end in a small, hard, yellowish plate. The male has red wattles and combs but not as strongly developed as in the red junglefowl. Legs of males are red and have spurs while the yellow legs of females usually lack spurs. The central tail feathers are long and sickle shaped. Males have an eclipse plumage in which they moult their colourful neck feathers in summer during or after the breeding season. The female is duller and has black and white streaking on the underparts and yellow legs.
The Malabar Grey Hornbill is a hornbill that is endemic to the Western Ghats and associated hills of southern India. They have a large beak but lack the casque that is prominent in other species of hornbills. They are found mainly in dense forest and around rubber, arecanut or coffee plantations. They move around in small groups, feeding on figs and other forest fruits. Their loud cackling and laughing call makes them familiar to people living in the region.
The black-capped kingfisher is a tree kingfisher which is widely distributed in tropical Asia from India east to China, Korea and Southeast Asia. It is distinctive in having a black cap that contrasts with the whitish throat, purple blue wings and the coral red bill. The species is mainly found in coastal and mangrove habitats but can sometimes be found far inland.
The adult has a purple-blue wings and back, black head and shoulders, white neck collar and throat, and rufous underparts. The large bill and legs are bright red. In flight, large white patches or "mirrors" at the base of the primaries are visible on the blue and black wings. Sexes are similar, but juveniles are a duller version of the adult and show streaks on the throat.
Usually seen on coastal waters and especially in mangroves, it is easily disturbed, but perches conspicuously and dives to catch fish but also feeds on large insects. The flight of the black-capped kingfisher is rapid and direct, the short rounded wings whirring.
This is a distinctive wagtail, the only one placed in the genus Dendronanthus (all other wagtails are placed in Motacilla). The forest wagtail is 18 cm in length, a slender bird with a long tail. The back and crown are olive brown, and the wings are black with two yellow wing bars and white tertial edges. There is a white supercilium, above a dark stripe through the eye. The underparts are white, apart from a black double breast band. The upper breast band is bib-like while the lower band is often broken. Sexes are similar. Young birds are more yellowish on the underside.
It inhabits scrub jungle, deciduous and dense evergreen forest. Breeding in the forests of the Himalayas, hills of central and western India, they migrate to other parts of the peninsula in winter. Although very colourful, they are usually shy and hidden in the undergrowth where the hop and pick insects on the forest floor. They have a distinctive two note whistling call which may be heard at dawn and dusk.
The Indian pitta is a small stubby-tailed bird that is mostly seen on the floor of forests or under dense undergrowth, foraging on insects in leaf litter. It has long, strong legs, a very short tail and stout bill, with a buff coloured crown stripe, black coronal stripes, a thick black eye stripe and white throat and neck. The upperparts are green, with a blue tail, the underparts buff, with bright red on the lower belly and vent.
The typical adult male Asian Paradise-flycatcher is about 20 cm long, but the long tail streamers double this.
It has a glossy black crown and crest, blue eye-ring and a long narrow rounded tail. The body and wings are white with very long central pair of tail feathers which form streamers that droop. The Females are much like the sub-adult males or rufous-morphs but the throat is greyish and not black and they lack streamers. The Asian Paradise-flycatcher is a noisy bird with a sharp skreek call.
It has short legs and sits very upright whilst perched prominently, like a shrike. It is insectivorous, hunting by flycatching in the understory. They bathe in small pools of water in the afternoon by diving from perches.
The Indian cormorant or Indian shag (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis) is a member of the cormorant family. It is found mainly along the inland waters of the Indian Subcontinent. It is a gregarious species that can be easily distinguished from the similar sized little cormorant by its blue eye, small head with a sloping forehead and a long narrow bill ending in a hooked tip.
The Purple Swamphen is a chicken-sized bird, with its huge feet, bright plumage and red bill and frontal shield is unmistakable in its native range.
There are 13 or more subspecies of the Purple Swamphen which differ mainly in plumage color. European birds are overall purple-blue, African and south Asian birds have a green back, and Australasian and Indonesian birds have black backs and heads.
The Purple Swamphens are generally seasonal breeders, but the season varies across their large range, correlating with peak rainfall in many places, or summer in more temperate climes. The Purple Swamphen breeds in warm reed beds. The male has an elaborate courtship display, holding water weeds in his bill and bowing to the female with loud chuckles. In the western parts of the range the pattern of social behaviour tends to be monogamy, but cooperative breeding groups are more common in the eastern parts of the range. These groups may consist of multiple females and males sharing a nest or a male female pair with helpers drawn from previous clutches.
The Crested Bunting is from the group of Eurasian & African Perching Birds. They are mainly seed-eating birds with stubby, conical bills. Their habits are similar to those of finches, with which they sometimes used to be grouped.
Crested Bunting is 20 cm long in size; and plumage is very much similar to Crow Pheasant. It is commonly seen around hills and mountains.
The Tree Pipit is a small passerine bird which breeds across most of Europe and temperate western and central Asia. It is a long-distance migrant moving in winter to Africa and southern Asia.
This is a small pipit, which resembles Meadow Pipit. This is an undistinguished looking species, streaked brown above and with black markings on a white belly and buff breast below. It can be distinguished from the slightly smaller Meadow Pipit by its heavier bill and greater contrast between its buff breast and white belly. Tree Pipits more readily perch in trees.
The bird rises a short distance up from a tree, and then parachutes down on stiff wings, the song becoming more drawn out towards the end.
The breeding habitat is open woodland and scrub. The nest is on the ground, with 4–8 eggs being laid. This species is insectivorous, like its relatives, but will also take seeds.
The Indian Yellow Tit is a small, mostly black-and-yellow bird with a long crest. It is 15cm long.
The male is strikingly colored with forehead, cheek patch and underparts rich yellow. The cap, crest, back, wing coverts and vent are black. Rear of crest white. Wings light blue with white outer edges. Female: Crest slightly shorter, duller with olive-green back; lacks ventral spot. Juvenile: Paler with whitish underparts. Iris, dark brown; bill, black; legs, gray. Found in ones, twos or small flocks. Forages for insects in mid-story forest canopy. May join mixed-species foraging flocks in non-breeding season. Breeds in April. Nests in a cavity of a tall tree. Clutch size 3-4 eggs.
While Yellow Tit may always have been uncommon, the population has been further reduced by felling of broadleaved forests. It is unable to occupy marginal habitats such as edge and scrub, plantations of conifers and bamboo. At one time, Yellow Tit was captured during large-scale netting of wild birds for export. Much of its habitat is now secure in national parks, nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries.
The Black-shouldered Kite is a ashy gray bird with black patches on the shoulder, conspicuous at rest as well as in flight. Seen in singles in fringes of the forest and in grassland hovering in the mid-air to scan the ground and drops down on prey. Food : Insects, mice & lizards.
The Asian Koel is a member of the cuckoo order of birds. Asian Koel is found in South Asia, China, and Southeast Asia. It forms a superspecies with the closely related Black-billed and Pacific Koels. The Asian Koel is a brood parasite that lays its eggs in the nests of crows and other hosts, who raise its young. They are unusual among the cuckoos in being largely frugivorous as adults. The name koel is echoic in origin and the bird is a widely used symbol in Indian poetry.
The Asian Koel is a large, long-tailed, cuckoo, 45 cm in length. The male is glossy bluish-black, with a pale greenish grey bill, the iris is crimson, and it has grey legs and feet. The female is brownish on the crown and has rufous streaks on the head. The back, rump and wing coverts are dark brown with white and buff spots. The underparts are whitish, but is heavily striped. The upper plumage of young birds is more like that of the male and they have a black beak.
Asian Koel are very vocal; with a range of different calls during the breeding season which starts in March and ends in August.
They are used as reference in various myth, folklore and poetry being familiar for its loud call. The song of the bird is heard on Traditional New year celebration of Sri Lankans since they believe that it has a strong association with their upcoming year.
The Yellow-footed Green Pigeon is a common species of Green Pigeon found in South Asia. The species feeds on fruits of a large variety of fruit trees. They forage in flocks. In the early morning they are often seen sunning on the tops of emergent trees in dense forest areas.
The Yellow-crowned Woodpecker is a species of small pied woodpecker found in South Asia.
It is Medium-sized, pale-headed, pied woodpecker. Upperparts black, heavily spotted and barred white. Underparts dark, steaked dingywithe with red belly patch. Irregular brown cheek and neck patches. Female has yellowish crown and nape. In male nape scarlet and fore-crown yellow.
The Ashy Prinia is a small warbler. This prinia is a resident breeder in the Indian subcontinent, western Myanmar and Sri Lanka. It is a common bird in urban gardens and farmland in many parts of India and its small size, distinctive colours and upright tail make it easy to identify. The northern populations have a rufous rump and back and have a distinct breeding and non-breeding plumage while other populations lack such variation.
These 15 cm long warblers have short rounded wings and longish graduated cream tail tipped with black subterminal spots. The tail is usually held upright and the strong legs are used for clambering about and hopping on the ground. They have a short black bill. The crown is grey and the underparts are rufous in most plumages. In breeding plumage, adults of the northern population are ash grey above, with a black crown and cheek with no supercilium and rufescent wings. In non-breeding season this population has a short and narrow white supercilium and the tail is longer. They are found singly or in pairs in shrubbery and will often visit the ground.
In winter, the northern subspecies has warm brown upperparts and a longer tail and has seasonal variation in plumage. The other races retain summer plumage all year round. West Bengal and Eastwards race has is darker slaty above than the nominate race of the Peninsula and deeper rufous on the flanks with a finer and shorter beak. The distinctive race in Sri Lanka has a shorter tail and has the juveniles with yellowish underparts apart from a distinct call.
The Red-breasted Flycatcher is a small passerine bird. It breeds in eastern Europe and across central Asia and is migratory, wintering in south Asia. It is a regular passage migrant in western Europe.
The breeding male is 12 cm and is mainly brown above and white below, with a grey head and orange throat. The bill is black and has the broad but pointed shape typical of aerial insectivores. As well as taking insects in flight, this species hunts caterpillars amongst the oak foliage, and will take berries. The base of the outertail feather is white and the tail is often flicked upwards as they perch looking out for insect prey which are caught on the wing or sometimes from the ground.
The Pheasant-tailed Jacana is a bird from Jacanas family. It is a group of waders that are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in shallow lakes, their preferred habitat. The Pheasant-tailed Jacana is capable of swimming, although it usually walks on the vegetation. The females are more colourful than the males and are polyandrous.
This is the only jacana to have a different breeding plumage. The Pheasant-tailed Jacana is a conspicuous and unmistakable bird. They are around 31 cm long, with the females larger than the males. During the breeding season, the long tail adds another 8 cm. The outermost primaries have a spatulate extension of 2 cm and the seventh primary has a broad protrusion.
Breeding adults are mainly black other than white wings, head, and fore neck. The hind neck is golden. There is a striking white eyestripe. The legs and very long toes are grey.
Non-breeding adults lack the long tail. The underparts are white except for a brown breast band and neck stripe. The side of the neck is golden.
Young birds have brown upperparts. The underparts are white, with a weak brown breast band.
Vigors's Sunbird is a species of sunbird which is endemic to the Western Ghats of India. It has been considered as a subspecies of the Crimson Sunbird but it does not have the central tail as elongated and is restricted in its distribution. The male has yellow on the lower back and tail is bottle green. The species is distributed mainly in the northern Western Ghats.
The Jungle Bush Quail is a species of quail found in India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Very different from the female, the male Jungle Bush Quail has a white moustache, heavily barred white underparts, and variegated wings. The female has a uniform, rich chestnut breast and belly. However, both the male and the female have red and white streaks on the head.The diet of the Jungle Bush Quail consists mainly of seeds. particularly of grasses, although it also takes insects. Breeding takes place after the rains and lasts until the onset of colder weather, with the precise period varying across the range; five or six eggs are produced and incubation takes between 16 and 18 days.
The Indian Robin is widespread in South Asia found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The males of northern populations have a brown back whose extent gradually reduces southwards with populations in the southern peninsula having an all black back. They are commonly found in open scrub areas and often seen running along the ground or perching on low thorny shrubs and rocks. Their long tails are held erect and their chestnut undertail covert and dark body make them easily distinguishable from the Pied Bushchat and the Oriental Magpie Robin.
The Indian Robin is dimorphic in plumage with the main being mainly black with a white shoulder patch or stripe whose visible extent can vary with posture. The northern populations have the upper plumage brownish while the southern populations are black above. The males have chestnut undertail coverts and these are visible as the bird usually holds the 10 cm long tail raised upright. The females are brownish above, have no white shoulder stripe and are greyish below with the vent a paler shade of chestnut than the males. Birds of the northern populations are larger than those from southern India or Sri Lanka. Juvenile birds are much like females but the throat is mottled.
The Indian Lorikeet is a small parrot which is a resident breeder from India, Nepal and some other areas of Southeast Asia. It undergoes local movements, driven mainly by the availability of the fruit, seeds, buds and blossoms that make up its diet. They frequently seen near the Banyan tree for the fruit and Plantain trees for the nectar from the flowers. It is a bird of dry jungle and cultivation.
The Red-rumped Swallow is a small passerine bird in the swallow family. It breeds in open hilly country of temperate southern Europe and Asia from Portugal and Spain to Japan, India and tropical Africa. The Indian and African birds are resident, but European and other Asian birds are migratory. They winter in Africa or India and are vagrants to Christmas Island and northern Australia.
Red-rumped Swallows are somewhat similar in habits and appearance to the other aerial insectivores, such as the related swallows and the unrelated swifts. They have blue upperparts and dusky underparts.
They resemble Barn Swallows, but are darker below and have pale or reddish rumps, face and neck collar. They lack a breast band, but have black undertails. They are fast fliers and they swoop on insects while airborne. They have broad but pointed wings.
Red-rumped Swallows build quarter-sphere nests with a tunnel entrance lined with mud collected in their beaks, and lay 3 to 6 eggs. They normally nest under cliff overhangs in their mountain homes, but will readily adapt to buildings such as mosques and bridges.
They do not normally form large breeding colonies, but are gregarious outside the breeding season. Many hundreds can be seen at a time on the plains of India.
In most of its range in Asia, this is the largest of the drongo species and is readily identifiable by the distinctive tail rackets and the crest of curled feather that begin in front of the face above the beak and along the crown to varying extents according to the subspecies. The tail with twirled rackets is distinctive and in flight it can appear as if two large bees were chasing a black bird. In the eastern Himalayas the species can be confused with the lesser racket-tailed drongo, however the latter has flat rackets with the crest nearly absent.
Young birds are duller, and can lack a crest while moulting birds can lack the elongate tail streamers. The racket is formed by the inner web of the vane but appears to be on the outer web since the rachis has a twist just above the spatula.
Like other drongos, these feed mainly on insects but also feed on fruits and visit flowering trees for nectar. Having short legs, they sit upright and are often perched on high and exposed branches. They are aggressive and will sometimes mob larger birds especially when nesting. They are often active at dusk.
The Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike is a small passerine bird formerly placed in the cuckooshrike family but probably closer to the woodshrikes. It is found in the forests of tropical southern Asia from the Himalayas and hills of southern India to Indonesia. Mainly insectivorous it is found hunting in the mid-canopy of forests, often joining mixed-species foraging flocks.
Males are velvety black while females tend to be greyish brown but the pattern varies across the geographic populations. Both males and females of the Himalayan H. p. capitalis have a brown back but the males have a black head. The Sri Lankan population leggei lacks sexual dimorphism in plumage. H. p. intermedius has only the females with a brownish back. The tail is black but the outer tail feathers are white while the non-central tail feathers are tipped with white.
The Asian Fairy-bluebird is a medium-sized, found in forests across tropical southern Asia from the Himalayan foothills, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The iris is crimson and eyelids pinkish; the bill, legs and claws are black, and mouth a flesh- colour. Marked sexual dimorphism is evident. The male is a shining ultramarine-blue with lilac reflections on its upper plumage, lesser wing coverts, and under tail coverts, while the sides of its head and the whole lower plumage are deep black; greater wing-coverts, quills, and tail black, and some of the coverts tipped with blue, and the middle tail-feathers glossed with blue.
The Asian fairy bluebird eats fruits, nectar and some insects. Its call is a liquid two note glue-it. It breeds from February to April, constructing a shallow cup-shaped nest, sometimes of moss and sometimes of small twigs, in a sapling or small tree. The eggs, which are generally two in number, are greenish white marked with brown.
It has a short curve bill and a short square tail and long wings. It is usually seen perched in groups, high on powerlines, tall bare trees and most often in areas with a predominance of tall palm trees.
This stocky woodswallow has an ashy grey upperparts with a darker head and a narrow pale band on the rump. The underside is pinkish grey and the short slaty black tail is tipped in white. The finch-like bill is silvery. In flight the long wing looks very broad at the base giving it a very triangular outline. The first primary is very short. The legs are short and the birds usually perch on high vantage points from which they make aerial sallies.
Males and females are indistinguishable in the field, however an old report suggests that the sexes differ in the colour of the inside of the mouth. Young birds appear barred on the underside.
It is found in southeast India and Sri Lanka. Its natural habitats are temperate forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest. It was formerly considered a subspecies of the Scarlet Minivet.
It is a large minivet with isolated orange (male) or yellow (female) patch on tertials. Male has deep orange underparts. Female has colder grey-brown underparts than Scarlet Minivet, with less yellow on forehead and darker grey ear coverts.
The Malabar Pied Hornbill is species of hornbill which are a family of tropical near-passerine birds. The Malabar Pied Hornbill is a common resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Borneo. Its habitat is open woodland and cultivation, often close to habitation.
During incubation, the female lays two or three white eggs in a tree hole, which is blocked off with a cement made of mud, droppings and fruit pulp. There is only one narrow aperture, just big enough for the male to transfer food to the mother and the chicks.
When the chicks and the female are too big to fit in the nest, the mother breaks out and rebuilds the wall, then both parents feed the chicks.
The Malabar Pied Hornbill is a large hornbill, at 65 cm in length. It has mainly black plumage apart from its white belly, throat patch, tail sides and trailing edge to the wings. The bill is yellow with a large, mainly black casque. Male and female are similar, but immatures have a smaller casque. This species is omnivorous, taking fruit, fish and small mammals. Figs form an important part of their diet.
This species is an all-year resident throughout most tropical and subtropical parts of the Indian Subcontinent to Southeast Asia and adjoining regions. The typical habitat of brown fish owls is forest and woodland bordering streams, lakes or rice fields. This species is a large owl, but it is intermediate in size between other fish owls. It has prominent ear tufts but as in all fish owls, their tufts hang to the side of the head and have a scraggly look. The upperparts are rufous brown and heavily streaked with black or dark brown. The underparts are buffy-fulvous to whitish, with wavy dark brown streaks and finer brown barring. The throat is white and can be conspicuously puffed, while the facial disk is indistinct. The irides are golden yellow, the feet a duller yellow, and the bill is dark. Sexes do not differ in appearance except for size.
It grabs food by gliding over the water, nearly skimming it with its feet and grabbing its prey by quickly extending its long legs. It feeds mainly on fishes, frogs and aquatic crustaceans. It usually selects the larger freshwater fish available in waterways. Compared to the tawny fish owl, which prefers flowing waters, brown fish owls frequently hunt in still or stagnant waters.
The Nilgiri flowerpecker is a tiny bird in the flowerpecker family. Formerly a subspecies of what used to be termed as the plain flowerpecker although that name is now reserved for Dicaeum minullum. Like others of the group, it feeds predominantly on nectar and fruits. They forage within the canopy of forests and are found distributed across South and Southeast Asia. They are non-migratory and the widespread distribution range includes several populations that are non-overlapping and morphologically distinct, some of which are recognized as full species. They are important pollinators and dispersers of mistletoes in forests.
It has darker olive-brown upperparts and paler greyish-white underparts compared to Plain Flowerpecker. Compared with Tickell's Flowerpecker, it has dark bill (grey with darker tip) and darker & browner upperparts and more pronounced supercilium.