Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ashy Prinia - Yala, Sri Lanka

A photograph of an Ashy Prinia taken in Yala, Sri Lanka
Ashy Prinia (Prinia socialis brevicauda) - Yala, Sri Lanka

The Ashy Prinia, also known as the Ashy Wren-Warbler, is found throughout Sri Lanka but it is commoner in the dry zone. I had photographed this species previously, on a trip to Anuradhapura a few years ago and got another opportunity to photograph it in Yala last year.

More photographs after the jump.

A photograph of an Ashy Prinia taken in Yala, Sri Lanka
Ashy Prinia (Prinia socialis brevicauda) - Yala, Sri Lanka

These Prinias are found in grassland, woodland, scrub and even gardens in major cities. They are found in the Indian sub-continent as well as western Burma. In some regions the plumage of the bird varies based on season. The race found in Sri Lanka, brevicauda, is said to be endemic and varies in terms of plumage and tail length.

A photograph of an Ashy Prinia taken in Yala, Sri Lanka
Ashy Prinia (Prinia socialis brevicauda) - Yala, Sri Lanka

The Ashy Prinia is known for making snapping noise, thought to be produced by the wings, while in flight. Some authors suggest that the noise is made by snapping its tail while others think it is produced by the birds mandibles.  

A photograph of an Ashy Prinia taken in Yala, Sri Lanka
Ashy Prinia (Prinia socialis brevicauda) - Yala, Sri Lanka

During the breeding season these birds build nests close to the ground in shrubs or tall grass and lays around 3 - 5 eggs. The breeding season varies from area to area but is generally after monsoons. The birds are thought to be monogamous and both sexes are involved with incubating the eggs and feeding the young.

A photograph of an Ashy Prinia taken in Yala, Sri Lanka
Ashy Prinia (Prinia socialis brevicauda) - Yala, Sri Lanka

All these photographs were taken with the Canon 7D and the 100-400mm lens. The birds were flying in and out of some shrubs when I saw them. Getting a clear shot was a bit of a challenge as they didn't perch on exposed branches very often. 



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