Thursday, February 9, 2012

Black-fronted Babbler - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

A photograph of a Black-fronted Babbler taken in Thalangama, Sri Lanka
Black-fronted Barbet (Rhopocichla atriceps siccata) - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

I photographed a flock of Black-fronted Babblers in Thalangama while they foraged through the undergrowth. I hadn't photographed them prior to this and was quite happy that I was able to move quite close to them and fire off a number of frames.

More photographs inside.

A photograph of a Black-fronted Babbler taken in Thalangama, Sri Lanka
Black-fronted Barbet (Rhopocichla atriceps siccata) - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

These Babblers are found in India and Sri Lanka. Three subspecies have been found in Sri Lanka, one each in the dry, wet and hill zones of the island. The species found in India have a complete black hood while the Sri Lankan species, pictured here, have a black mask.

Black-fronted Barbet (Rhopocichla atriceps siccata) - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

They are weak in flight and tend to clamber up vegetation when startled. Their diet consists mainly of insects. Like most Babblers the Black-fronted Babblers are noisy birds and their presence is often given away by their calls. They are also known to join mixed species feeding flocks.

A photograph of a Black-fronted Babbler taken in Thalangama, Sri Lanka
Black-fronted Barbet (Rhopocichla atriceps siccata) - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

Breeding season is between May and July and a clutch usually consists of two eggs. Nests are often built low down on bushes and shrubs. The nest is said to look like some dry leaves that have got stuck in a bush with an opening on one side.

A photograph of a Black-fronted Babbler taken in Thalangama, Sri Lanka
  Black-fronted Barbet (Rhopocichla atriceps siccata) - Thalangama, Sri Lanka

Photographing these birds wasn't hard as they were foraging when I found them and they weren't bothered by me being around. I had to keep looking around to find birds which had hopped out onto an exposed perch in order to get a clear shot. All photographs on this post were taken with the Canon 7D and the 100-400mm lens.











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