Here’s a throwback to a rare August sighting; a Thick-billed Flowerpecker feeding her hungry newborns some over ripened pallu. A resident all across tropical southern Asia, from north eastern India to East Timor, these short and stout birds forage and nest at great heights, sometimes as high as 15 meters in the forest canopy, which make sightings incredibly rare.
And check out her nest!
Camouflaged like a large dry leaf, the nest is a pendant shaped purse-like structure made of cobwebs and a host of other fine plant fibers – a real labor of love to keep the chicks warm, dry and protected against the elements, like the oncoming monsoons.
Its curved bill and tubular tongue is a reflection of the importance of nectar in its diet, and as seen in the photos, these chicks get a tummy full of pallu. That said, these birds never turn up the occasional berries, spiders and other small insects.
Being the small island we are and located close to the equator, , Sri Lanka offers a variety of forest habitats; the diversity of eco-systems makes it a birder’s paradise – some 236 species of birds breed right here and can be seen year around, in addition to 203 migrants species that pass through.
The period between September to December brings thunder showers across the south-west coast, and we’re in for some incredibly vibrant jungle scenery in the coming weeks!