Saturday, April 3, 2010

Indian Robin

An Indian Black Robin perched on a branch, photographed in Sri Lanka
A male Indian Robin

The Indian Robin is a common bird found in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. The males of the northern (Indian) population have a brown back which gradually reduces in extent southwards, with populations in the southern peninsular having a completely black back. More info and images after the jump.

An Indian Black Robin perched on a branch, photographed in Sri Lanka
A male Indian Robin

The Indian robin resembles a smaller version of the Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) in shape and habits. The males found in Sri Lanka have backs which are black in colour with rufous undertail coverts. It also shows a white patch on the wings when in flight. The female is dark brown in colour. It is a common resident garden bird in the dry lowlands of Sri Lanka and is also seen in the mid hills but it is rare and scattered in the wet zone.

An Indian Black Robin perched on a branch, photographed in Sri Lanka
A male Indian Robin

The Indian Robin feeds on insects but is known to take frogs, especially when feeding young at the nest.  The breeding season is generally from September to December but varies depending on region and usually begins with the rainy season. During this season, males sing and display by lowering and raising their tail feathers while strutting around the females. Males guard their territory and drive away other males and protect their territory by flying with slow wing beats from perch to perch. 

An Indian Black Robin perched on a branch, photographed in Sri Lanka
A male Indian Robin

Nests are built between rocks, in holes in walls or in a tree hollow. Nests are lined with animal hairs and it has been  noted that many nests have pieces of snake sloughs. The eggs are oval in shape and are fairly glossy. A clutch usually consist of 3 - 4 eggs. Only the females incubate the eggs which hatch in 10 - 12 days. Both the male and the female feed the the young. The same nest may be reused in subsequent years.

An Indian Black Robin perched on a branch, photographed in Sri Lanka
A male Indian Robin

These images were taken in Anuradhapura and Kandy. I used the 7D and the 100-400mm lens to capture them. The birds were not shy and allowed me to get quite close to them . 
  
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15 comments:

holdingmoments said...

Beautiful colour Dev.
His character sounds similar to our Robin here; but they look very different.

Kirigalpoththa said...

Beautiful shade of blue..

Me-shak said...

Wow, you have one set of lovely photographs here. I love th blue :D
Amazing stuff!
Looking forward for more.
Cheers!

Dev Wijewardane said...

Thanks for the comments guys. The colour is lovely when the bird is in direct sunlight.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Dev, these are outstanding, what a beautiful shade of blue these Robins are. I love seeing all of the different types of Robins around the world and this is really a beauty. Happy Easter~

Java Jones said...

Lovely shots, Dev. However, my books (Henry, Harrison and Salim Ali) all indicate that the Indian Robin is not the one you have photographed. The 'Indian Blue Robin' is also know as the Indian Blue Chat (Luscinia Brunnea) according to both Henry and Harrison, and Salim Ali's Indian Robin (Saxicoloides fulicata) is a black coloured bird with white wing-patches. Maybe Amila could help out with your picture and ID.

Gallicissa said...

Beautiful pictures, Dev. I bet the last one was shot at ISO 800? It looks too bluey for my liking and I think high ISO photography is to be blamed.

Dev Wijewardane said...

Thanks for the comments guys.

Amila, the ISO on the last shot was actually 400. The problem may have been caused by the white balance.

Java, this is definitely not the Indian Blue Chat because the Blue Chat has a rufous chest and the area under the tail is also whitish. This bird actually looks black in colour but it is iridescent and appears blue when in direct sunlight. The white patch is only visible when the bird is in flight.

Java Jones said...

Okay Dev - I guess the extreme 'blue colour' threw me. The ones I have seen all look quite 'black' but the rufous vent looks much the same.

Cheers!

Dev Wijewardane said...

No probs Java. I checked it up with a serious birder before I posted the previous comment.

Anonymous said...

This is so different from our American Robin. I like the colors on your bird a lot. Nice photography.

Dev Wijewardane said...

Thanks for your comment Abraham. Yep, the colour is unusual.

Chris said...

Wow nothing to see with our European robin.. What a colorful bird!! You got very nice pictures and I wonder about the settings with such a colorful bird, probably not easy to find the good ones ;-)

Dev Wijewardane said...

Thanks for the comment Chris. In regards to settings, the ISO was 400 and the aperture was 5.6. Sorry, I can't remember the shutter speed.

Angad Achappa said...

Lovely images, helped me ID the bird... :)